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S. G. and E. L. ELBERT 


AlWStultfrby ELLA SMITH ELBEML. f 88 

J/xt ilirnutrivtui 





B Y 


Thine was a soul with sympathy imbued, 
Broad as the earth, and as the heavens sublime ; 

Thy godlike object, steadfastly pursued, 
To save thy race from misery and crime. 

Garrison. ^& 






18 5 3. 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1853, hy 

John Hopper, 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern 

District of New-York. 








This biography differs from most works of the kind, in 
embracing fragments of so many lives. Friend Hopper lived 
almost entirely for others ; and it is a striking illustration of 
the fact, that I have found it impossible to write his biography 
without having it consist largely of the adventures of other 

I have not recounted his many good deeds for the mere 
purpose of eulogizing an honored friend. I have taken plea- 
sure in preserving them in this form, because I cherish a 
hope that they may fall like good seed into many hearts, 
and bring forth future harvests in the great field of humanity. 

Most of the strictly personal anecdotes fell from his lips in 
familiar and playful conversation with his sister, or his grand- 
children, or his intimate friends, and I noted them down at 
the time, without his knowledge. In this way I caught them 
in a much more fresh and natural form, than I could have 
done if he had been conscious of the process. 

The narratives and anecdotes of fugitive slaves, which form 
such a prominent portion of the book, were originally written 


by Friend Hopper himself, and published in newspapers, 
under the title of " Tales of Oppression." I have re-modelled 
them all ; partly because I wished to present them in a more 
concise form, and partly because the principal actor could be 
spoken of more freely by a third person, than he could speak 
of himself. Moreover, he had a more dramatic way of telling 
a story than he had of writing it ; and I have tried to embody 
his unwritten style as nearly as I could remember it. Where- 
ever incidents or expressions have been added to the publish- 
ed narratives, I have done it from recollection. 

The facts, which were continually occurring within 
Friend Hopper's personal knowledge, corroborate the pic- 
tures of slavery drawn by Mrs. Stowe. Her descriptions 
are no more fictitious, than the narratives written by Friend 
Hopper. She has taken living characters -and facts of 
every-day occurrence, and combined them in a connect- 
ed story, radiant with the light of genius, and warm with 
the glow of feeling. But is a landscape any the less real, be- 
cause there is sunshine on it, to bring out every tint, and make 
every dew-drop sparkle ? 

Who that reads the account here given of Daniel Benson, 
and William Anderson, can doubt that slaves are capable of 
as high moral excellence, as has ever been ascribed to them 
in any work of fiction ? Wlio that reads Zeke,and the Quick 
Witted Slave, can pronounce them a stupid race, unfit for 
freedom % Who that reads the adventures of the Slave 
Mother, and of poor Manuel, a perpetual mourner for his en- 
slaved children, can say that the bonds of nature are less 


strong with them, than with their more fortunate white 
brethren ? Who can question the horrible tyranny under 
which they suffer, after reading The Tender Mercies of a 
Slaveholder, and the suicide of Romaine ? 

Friend Hopper labored zealously for many, many years ; 
and thousands have applied their best energies of head and 
heart to the same great work ; yet the slave-power in this 
country is as strong as ever — nay, stronger. Its car rolls on 
in triumph, and priests and politicians outdo each other in 
1 to draw it along, over its prostrate victims. But, lo ! 
from under its crushing wheels, up rises the bleeding spectre 
of Uncle Tom, and all the world turns to look at him ! 
Verily, the slave-power is strong ; but God and truth are 



Allusions to his Parents, from 1 to 3, from 25 to 28, 252. 

Anecdotes of Childhood, from 3 to 25. 

Allusions to Sarah his Wife, 24, 36, 43, 46, 249 to 252, 289 to 293, 

377, 382, 466. 
Allusions to Joseph Whitall, 25, 27, 44 to 46, 466. 
Anecdotes of Apprenticeship, 27 to 35. 
His Religious Experience, 36 to 46. 

Talcs of Oppression and Anecdotes of Colored People, 48 to 212. 
Anecdotes of Prisoners and of Vicious Characters in Philadelphia, 

from 212 to 243. 
His Love of Fun, 244 to 248, 364 to 374. 
Allusions to his Private Life and Domestic Character, 249, 377 to 

380, 458 to 464. 
Anecdotes connected with Quakers, from 255 to 276. 
Schism in the Society of Friends, 273 to 286. 
Anecdotes connected with his Visit to England and Ireland, 296 to 

Anti-Slavery Experiences in New- York, 314 to 334, 340 to 303, 

384, 385, 447 to 458. 
His Attachment to the Principles and Usages of Friends, 255, 380 

to 383, 458. 
Disowned by the Society of Friends in New- York, 386 to 399, 

His Connection with the Prison Association of New- York, 409 to 

444, 470 to 473, 481 to 485. 
His Illness, Death, and Funeral, 470 to 493. 



His birth, 1. 

Anecdote of his Grandmother's Courage, 2. 
His Childish Roguery, 4 to 9. 
His Contest with British Soldiers, 9. 
His Violent Temper, 10. 
Conscientiousness in Boyhood, 11. 
Tricks at School, 6, 7, 10, 11. 
Going to Mill, 12. 
Going to Market, 13. 
Anecdote of General Washington, 15. 
Pelting the Swallows, 16. 

Anecdote of the Squirrel and her young ones, 18. 
The Pet Squirrel, 20. 
The Pet Crow, 21. 
Encounter with a Black Snake, 23. 
Old Mingo the African, 23. 
Boyish Love for Sarah Tatum, 24. 
His Mother's parting advice when he leaves Home, 28. 
Mischievous Trick at the Cider Barrel, 28. 
He nearly harpoons his Uncle, 29. 
He nearly kills a Fellow Apprentice, 29. 
Adventure with a young Woman, 31. 
His first Slave Case, 33. 
His Youthful Love for Sarah Tatum, 36. 
Nicholas Wain, 37. 
Mary Ridgeway, 38. 
William Savery, 38. 
His early Religious Experience, 43. 
Letter from Joseph Whitall, 44. 
He marries Sarah Tatum, 46. 


His interest in Colored People, 47. 

Charles Webster, 48. 

Ben Jackson, 51. 

Thomas Cooper, 55. 

A Child Kidnapped, 66. 

Wagelma, 70. 

James Poovey, 73. 

Romaine, 77. 

David Lea, 80. 

The Slave Hunter, 80. 

William Bachelor, 83. 

Levin Smith, 88. 

Etienne Lamaire, 91. 

Samuel Johnson, 96. 

Pierce Butler's Ben, 98. 

Daniel Benson, 104. 

The Quick- Witted Slave, 108. 

James Davis, 112. 

Mary Holliday, 116. 

Thomas Harrison, 122. 

James Lawler, 123. 

William Anderson, 126. 

Sarah Roach, 129. 

Zeke, 133. 

Poor Amy, 137. 

Manuel, 139. 

Slaveholders mollified, 145. 

The United States Bond, 149. 

The tender mercies of a Slaveholder, 157. 

The Foreign Slave, 160. 

The New- Jersey Slave, 164. 

A Slave Hunter Defeated, 168. 

Mary Morris, 173. 

The Slave Mother, 176. 


Coioncl Ilidgclcy's Slave, 179. 

Stop Thief! 185. 

The Disguised Slaveholder, 189. 

The Slave of Dr. Rich, 192. 

His Knowledge of Law, 202. 

Mutual Confidence between him and the Colored People, 204. 

Mercy to Kidnappers, 206. 

Richard Allen, the Colored Bishop, 208. 

The Colored Guests at his Table, 210. 

Kane the Colored Man fined for Blasphemy, 211. 

John Mc'Grier, 212. 

Levi Butler, 215. 

The Musical Boy, 217. 

Mary Norris, 220. 

The Magdalen, 221. 

The Uncomplimentary Invitation, 222. 

Theft from Necessity, 224. 

Patrick M'Keever, 225. 

The Umbrella Girl, 229. 

The two young Offenders, 237. 

His courageous intercourse with violent Prisoners^ 242. 

Not thoroughly Baptized, 245. 

The puzzled Dutchman, 245. 

Hint to an Untidy Neighbor, 247. 

Resemblance to Napoleon, 248, 314. 

The Dress, Manners, and Character of Sarah, his wife, 249 to 252, 

382, 466. 
The Devil's Lane, 254. 
Jacob Lindley's Anecdotes, 256. 

Singular Clairvoyance of Arthur Howell, a Quaker Preacher, 258. 
Prophetic Presentiment of his Mother, 262. 
The aged Bondman emancipated, 264. 
A Presentiment of Treachery, 266. 
The Quaker who purchased a Stolen Horse, 270. 


Ulias Hicks and the Schism in the Society of Friends, 273 to 286. 
Pecuniary difficulties, 287 to 291. 

th of his Wife, 291. 
Death of his son 

Journey to Maryland, and Testimony against Slavery, 293. 
His marriage with Hannah Attmore, 294. 
Removes to New- York, 296. 

Matthew Carey's facetious Letter of Introduction, 296. 
Anecdotes of his visit to England and Ireland, 296 to 313. 
Anecdote of the Diseased Horse, 802. 
Visit to William Penn's Grave, 309. 
The Storm at Sea. Profane Language rebuked, 312. 
The Clergyman and hit Books, 313. 
His Book-store in New- York, 313. 
The Mob in Pearl-Street, 315. 
Judge Chinn'i slave, 3if>. 
One of his sons mobbed at the South, 319. 
His Letter to the Mayor of Savannah, 327. 
His Phrenological Character, 335. 
His Unconsciousness of Distinctions in Society, 339. 
TheDarg 340. 

Letter from Dr. Moore, 356. 
Mrs. Burke's Slave. 357. 

Becomes Agent in the Anti- Slavery Office, 363. 
His youthful appearance, 363, 491. 
Anecdotes showing his love of Fun, 364 to 374. 
His sense of Justice, 374. 
His Remarkable Memory, 375. 
His Costume and Personal Habits, 378 to 380. 
His Library, 380. 
His Theology, 381. 

His Adherence to Quaker Usages, 382. 
Capital Punishment, 383. 
Rights of Women, 384. 


Expressions of gratitude from Colored People, 95, 384, 385, 476. 
His fund of Anecdotes and his Public Speaking, 385, 415. 
Remarks of Judge Edmonds thereon, 412. 
His separation from the Society of Friends in New-York, 386 to 

Visit to his Birth-place, 399. 
Norristown Convention, 400. 
Visit from his Sister Sarah, 401. 
Visit to Boston, 401. 
Visit to Bucks County, 406. 
Prison Association in New- York, 409. 
Correspondence with Governor Young, 413. 
Preaching in Sing Sing Chapel, 415. 
Anecdotes of Dr. William Rogers, 417, 459. 
Interesting Cases of Reformed Convicts, 419 to 443. 
Letter from Dr Walter Channing, 444. 

Anecdotes of William Savery and James Lindley at the South, 446. 
Sonnet by William L. Garrison, 448. 

His sympathy with Colored People turned out of the Cars, 448. 
A Methodist Preacher from the South, 452. 
His Disobedience to the Fugitive Slave Law, 455. 
His Domestic Character, 249, 377 to 380, 458 to 464. 
He attracts Children, 460. 

His Garden described in a Letter to L. M. Child, 461. 

Likenesses of him, 464. 

Letter concerning Joseph Whitall, 466. 

Letters concerning Sarah his wife, 466, 467. 

Letter to his Daughter on his 80th Birth-day, 469. 

Allusions to Hannah, his wife, 294, 370, 379, 476, 481. 

Letter resigning the agency of the Prison Association, 472. 

His last Illness, 470. 

His Death, 481. 

Letter from a Reformed Convict, 481. 

Resolutions passed by the Prison Association, 482. 


Resolutions passed by the Anti-Slavery Society, 484. 

His Funeral, 485. 

Lucretia Mott, 486, 487. 

Public Notices and Private Letters of Condolence, 487 to 493. 

His Epitaph, 493. 

I was a father to the poor : and the cause which I knew not I searched out. 

When the ear heard me, then it blessed me: and when the eye saw me, il 
gave witness to me : 

Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had 
none to help him. 

The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me : and I caused 
the widow's heart to sing for joy. Job xxix. 16, 11, 12, 13. 



Isaac Tatem Hopper was born in Deptford 
Township, near Woodbury, West New- Jersey, in 
the year 1771, on the third day of December, which 
Quakers call the Twelth Month. His grandfather 
belonged to that denomination of Christians, but for- 
feited membership in the Society by choosing a wife 
from another sect. His son Levi, the father of Isaac, 
always attended their meetings, but never became a 

A family of rigid Presbyterians, by the name of 
Tatem, resided in the neighborhood. While their 
house was being built, they took shelter for a few 
days, in a meeting-house that was little used, and 
dug a pit for a temporary cellar, according to the 
custom of new settlers in the forest. The country 
at that time was much infested with marauders ; but 
Mrs. Tatem was an Amazon in physical strength and 
courage. One night, when her husband was absent, 
and she was alone in the depths of the woods with 


three small children, she heard a noise, and looking 
out saw a band of thieves stealing provisions from 
the cellar. They entered the meeting-house soon af- 
ter, and she had the presence of mind to call out, 
" Hallo, Jack ! Call Joe, and Harry, and Jim ! 
Here's somebody coming." The robbers, supposing 
she had a number of stout defenders at hand, thought 
it prudent to escape as quickly as possible. The 
next day, her husband being still absent, she resolved 
to move into the unfinished house, for greater securi- 
ty. The door had neither lock nor latch, but she 
contrived to fasten it in some fashion. At midnight, 
three men came and tried to force it open ; but every 
time they partially succeeded, she struck at them 
with a broad axe. This mode of defence was kept 
up so vigorously, that at last they were compelled to 

She had a daughter, who was often at play with 
neighbor Hopper's children ; and when Levi was 
quite a small boy, it used to be said playfully that 
little Rachel Tatem w r ould be his wife, and they 
would live together up by the great white oak ; a 
remarkable tree at some distance from the homestead. 
The children grew up much attached to each other, 
and when Levi was twenty-two years old, the pro- 
phecy was fulfilled. 

The young man had only his own strong hands 
and five or six hundred acres of wild woodland. 


He grubbed up the trees and underbrush near the 
big white oak, removed his father's hen-house to the 
cleared spot, fitted it up comfortably for a temporary 
dwelling, and dug a cellar in the declivity of a hill 
near by. To this humble abode he conducted his 
young bride, and there his two first children were 
born. The second was named Isaac Tatem Hopper, 
and is the subject of this memoir. 

Rachel inherited her mother's energy and courage, 
and having married a diligent and prudent man, their 
worldly circumstances gradually improved, though 
their family rapidly increased, and they had nothing 
but land and labor to rely upon. When Isaac was 
one year and a half old, the family removed to anew 
log-house with three rooms on a floor, neatly white- 
washed. To these the bridal hen-house was append- 
ed for a kitchen. 

Isaac was early remarked as a very precocious 
child. He was always peeping into everything, and 
inquiring about everything. He was only eighteen 
months old, when the new log-house was built ; but 
when he saw them laying the foundation, his busy 
little mind began to query whether the grass would 
grow under it ; and straightway he ran to see whether 
grass grew under the floor of the hen-house where 
he was born. 

He was put to work on the farm as soon as he 
could handle a hoe ; but though he labored hard, he 


had plenty of time and strength left for all manner 
of roguery. While he was a small fellow in petti- 
coats, he ran into a duck-pond to explore its depth. 
His mother pulled him out, and said, "Isaac, if you 
ever go there again, I will make you come out faster 
than you went in." He thought to himself, " Now 
I will prove mother to be in the wrong ; for I will go 
in as fast as I can, and surely I can't come out any 
faster." So into the pond he went, as soon as the 
words were out of her mouth. 

A girl by the name of Polly assisted about the 
housework. She was considered one of the family, 
and always ate at the same table, according to the 
kindly custom of those primitive times. She always 
called her mistress " Mammy," and Served her until 
the day of her death ; a period of forty years. The 
children were much attached to this faithful domes- 
tic ; but nevertheless, Isaac could not forbear playing 
tricks upon her whenever he had opportunity. — 
"When he was five or six years old, he went out one 
night to see her milk the cow. He had observed 
that the animal kicked upon slight provocation ; and 
when the pail was nearly full, he broke a switch from 
a tree near by, slipped round to the other side of the 
cow, and tickled her bag. She instantly raised her 
heels, and over went Polly, milk-pail, stool, and all. 
Isaac ran into the house, laughing with all his might, 
to tell how the cow had kicked over Polly and the 


pail of milk. His mother went out immediately to 
ascertain whether the girl was seriously injured. — 
" Oh, mammy, that little rogue tickled the cow, and 
made her do it," exclaimed Polly. Whereupon, Isaac 
had a spanking, and was sent to bed without his sup- 
per. But so great was his love of fun, that as he lay 
there, wakeful and hungry, he shouted with laughter 
all alone by himself, to think how droll Polly looked 
when she rolled over with the pail of milk after her. 
When he was seven or eight years old, his uncle's 
wife came one day to the house on horseback. She 
was a fat, clumsy woman, and got on and off her 
horse with difficulty. Isaac knew that all the family 
were absent ; but when he saw her come ambling 
along the road, he took a freak not to tell her of it. 
He let down the bars for her ; she rode up to the 
horse-block with which every farm-house was then 
furnished, rolled off her horse, and went into the 
house. She then discovered, for the first time, that 
there was no one at home. After resting awhile, 
she mounted to depart. But Isaac, as full of mis- 
chief as Puck, put the bars up, so that she could not 
ride out. In vain she coaxed, scolded, and threat- 
ened. Finding it was all to no purpose, she rode up 
to the block and rolled off from her horse again. — 
Isaac, having the fear of her whip before his eyes, 
ran and hid himself. She let down the bars for her- 
self, but before she could remount, the mischievous 


urchin had put the bars up again and run away. — 
This was repeated several times ; and the exasperat- 
ed visitor could never succeed in catching her tor- 
mentor. His parents came home in the midst of the 
frolic, and he had a sound whipping. He had cal- 
culated upon this result all the time, and the uneasy- 
feeling had done much to mar his sport ; but on the 
whole, he concluded such rare fun was well worth a 

The boys at school were apt to neglect their les- 
sons while they were munching apples. In order to 
break up this disorderly habit, the master made it a 
rule to take away every apple found upon them. — 
He placed such forfeited articles upon his desk, with 
the agreement that any boy might have them, who 
could succeed in abstracting them without being ob- 
served by him. One day, when a large rosy-cheeked 
apple stood temptingly on the desk, Isaac stepped 
up to have his pen mended. He stood very demure- 
ly at first, but soon began to gaze earnestly out of 
the window, behind the desk. The master inquired 
what he was looking at. He replied, " I am watch- 
ing a flock of ducks trying to swim on the ice. How 
queerly they waddle and slide about !" " Ducks 
swim on ice !" exclaimed the schoolmaster ; and he 
turned to observe such an unusual spectacle. It was 
only for an instant ; but the apple meanwhile was 
transferred to the pocket of his cunning pupil. He 


smiled as he gave him his pen, and said, "Ah, you 
rogue, you are always full of mischief !" 

The teacher was accustomed to cheer the mono- 
tony of his labors by a race with the boys during 
play hours. There was a fine sloping lawn in front 
of the school-house, terminating in a brook fringed 
with willows. The declivity gave an impetus to the 
runners, and as they came among the trees, their 
heads swiftly parted the long branches. Isaac tied 
a brick-bat to one of the pendant boughs, and then 
invited the master to tun with him. He accepted 
the invitation, and got the start in the race. As he 
darted through the trees, the brick merely grazed 
his hair. If it had hit him, it might have cost him 
his life ; though his mischievous pupil had not re- 
flected upon the possibility of such a result. 

There was a bridge across the brook consisting of 
a single rail. One day, Isaac sawed this nearly in 
two ; and while the master was at play with the boys, 
he took the opportunity to say something very im- 
pertinent, for which he knew he should be chased. 
He ran toward the brook, crossed the rail in safety, 
and instantly turned it over, so that his pursuer would 
step upon it when the cut side was downward. It 
immediately snapped under his pressure, and pre- 
cipitated him into the stream, while the young rogue 
stood by almost killing himself with laughter. But 
this joke also came very near having a melancholy 


termination ; for the master was floated down several 
rods into deep water, and with difficulty saved him- 
self from drowning. 

There was a creek not far from his father's house, 
w r here it was customary to load sloops with wood. 
Upon one of these occasions, he persuaded a party 
of boys to pry up a pile of wood and tip it into a 
sloop, in a confused heap. Of course, it must all be 
taken out and reloaded. When he saw how much 
labor this foolish trick had caused, he felt some com- 
punction ; but the next temptation found the spirit 
of mischief too strong to be resisted. 

Coming home from his uncle's one evening, he 
stopped to amuse himself with taking a gate off its 
hinges. When an old Quaker came out to see who 
was meddling with his gate, Isaac fired a gun over 
his head, and made him run into the house, as if an 
evil spirit were after him. 

It was his delight to tie the boughs of trees to- 
gether in narrow paths, that people travelling in the 
dark, might hit their heads against them ; and to lay 
stones in the ruts of the road, when he knew that 
farmers were going to market with eggs, in the dark- 
ness of morning twilight. If any mischief was done 
for miles round, it was sure to be attributed to Isaac 
Hopper. There was no malice in his fun ; but he 
had such superabounding life within him, that it 
would overflow, even when he knew that he must 


suffer for it. His boyish activity, strength, and agili- 
tv were proverbial. Long after he left his native 
village, the neighbors used to tell with what aston- 
ishing rapidity he would descend high trees, head 
foremost, clinging to the trunk with his feet. 

The fearlessness and firmness of character, which 
be inherited from both father and mother, manifested 
it self in many ways. He had a lamb, whose horns 
were crooked, and had a tendency to turn in. His 
father had given it to him for his own, on condition 
that he should keep the horns carefully filed, so that 
they should not hurt the animal. He had a small 
file on purpose, and took such excellent care of his 
pet, that it soon became very much attached to him, 
and trotted about after him like a dog. When he 
was about five or six years old, British soldiers came 
into the neighborhood to seize provisions for the ar- 
my, according to their custom during our revolution- 
ary war. They tied the feet of the tame lamb, and 
threw it into the cart with other sheep and lambs. 
Isaac came up to them in season to witness this ope- 
ration, and his heart swelled with indignation. He 
sprang into the cart, exclaiming, " That's my lamb, 
and you shan't have it !" The men tried to push 
him aside ; but he pulled out a rusty jack-knife, 
which he had bought of a pedlar for two-pence, and 
cut the rope that bound the poor lamb. A British 
officer rode up, and seeing a little boy struggling so 


resolutely with the soldiers, he inquired what was 
the matter. "They've stolen my lamb!" exclaimed 
Isaac; "and they shan't have it. It's my lamb!" 

11 Is it your lamb, my brave little fellow?" said the 
officer. "Well, they shan't have it. You'll make 
a fine soldier one of these days." 

So Isaac lifted his lamb from the cart, and trudg- 
ed off victorious. He had always been a whig ; and 
after this adventure, he became more decided than 
ever in his politics. He often used to boast that he 
would rather have a paper continental dollar, than a 
golden English guinea. The family amused them- 
selves by exciting his zeal, and Polly made him be- 
lieve he was such a famous whig, that the British 
would certainly carry him off to prison. He gene- 
rally thought he was fully capable of defending him- 
self ; but when he saw four soldiers approaching the 
house one day, he concluded the force was rather 
too strong for him, and hastened to hide himself in 
the woods. 

His temper partook of the general strength and 
vehemence of his character. Having put a small 
quantity of gunpowder on the stove of the school- 
house, it exploded, and did some injury to the mas- 
ter. One of the boys, who was afraid of being sus- 
pected of the mischief, in order to screen himself, 
cried out, "Isaac Hopper did it!" — and Isaac w r as 
punished accordingly. Going home from school, he 


seized the informer as they were passing through a 
wood, tied him up to a tree, and gave him a tremen- 
dous thrashing. The hoy threatened to tell of it; 
In it he assured him that he would certainly kill him 
it' he did ; so he never ventured to disclose it. 

In general, his conscience reproved him as soon as 
he had done anything wrong, and he hastened to 
make atonement. A poor boy, who attended the 
same school, usually brought a very scanty dinner. 
One day, the spirit of mischief led Isaac to spoil the 
poor child's provisions by filling his little pail with 
sand. When the boy opened it, all eagerness to eat 
his dinner, the tears came into his eyes; for he was 
\ t ry hungry. This touched Isaac's heart instantly. 
"Oh, never mind, Billy," said he. "I did it for fun; 
but I'm sorry I did it. Come, you shall have half of 
my dinner." It proved a lucky joke for Billy ; for 
from that day henceforth, Isaac always helped him 
plentifully from his own stock of provisions. 

Isaac and his elder brother were accustomed to set 
traps in the woods to catch partridges. One day, 
when he was about six years old, he went to look 
at the traps early in the morning, and finding his 
empty, he took a plump partridge from his brother's 
trap, put it in his own, and carried it home as his. 
When his brother examined the traps, he said he 
was sure he caught the bird, because there were 
feathers sticking to his trap ; but Isaac maintained 


that there were feathers sticking to his also. After 
he went to bed, his conscience scorched him for 
what he had done. As soon as he rose in the 
morning, he went to his mother and said. "What 
shall I do ? I have told a lie. and I feel dreadfully 
about it. That was Sam's partridge. I said I took 
it from my trap ; and so I did ; but I put it in there 

" My son, it is a wicked tiling to tell a lie/' 
replied his mother. ''You must go to Sam and 
confess, and give him the bird." 

Accordingly, he went to his brother, and said, 

"am, here's your partridge. I did take it out of 
my trap; but I put it in there first." His brother 
gave him a talking, and then forgave him. 

Being a very bright, manly boy, he was intrusted 
to carry grain several miles to mill, when he was 
only eight years old. On one of these occasions, 
he arrived just as another boy, who preceded him, 
had alighted to open the gate. "Just let me drive 
in before you shut it," said Isaac, "and then I shall 
have no need to sret down from my wagon. " The 
boy patiently held the gate for him to pass through; 
but, Isaac, without stopping to thank him, whipped 
up his horse, arrived at the mill post haste, and 
claimed the right to be first served, because he was 
the first comer. When the other boy found he was 
compelled to wait, he looked very much dissatisfied, 


but said nothing. Isaac chuckled over his victory 
at first, but his natural sense of justice soon sug- 
gested better thoughts. He asked himself whether 
he had done right thus to take advantage of that 
obliging boy? The longer he reflected upon it, the 
more uncomfortable he felt. At last, he went up to 
the stranger and said frankly, "I did wrong to drive 
up to the mill so fast, and get my corn ground, 
when you were the one who arrived first; especially 
as you were so obliging as to hold the gate open 
for me to pass through. I was thinking of nothing 
but fun when I did it. Here's sixpence to make up 
for it." The boy was well pleased with the amend 
thus honorably offered, and they parted right good 

At nine years old, he began to drive a wagon to 
Philadelphia, to sell vegetables and other articles 
from his father's farm; which he did very satis- 
factorily, with the assistance of a neighbor, who 
occupied the next stall in the market. According to 
the fashion of the times, he wore a broad-brimmed 
hat, and small-clothes with long stockings. Being 
something of a dandy, he prided himself upon having 
his shoes very clean, and his white dimity small 
clothes without spot or blemish. He caught rabbits, 
and sold them, till he obtained money enough 
to purchase brass buckles 'for his knees, and for 
the straps of his shoes. The first time he made 


his appearance in the city with this new finery, lie 
felt his ambition concerning personal decoration com- 
pletely satisfied. The neatness of his dress, and his 
manly way of proceeding, attracted attention, and 
induced his customers to call him " The Little 
Governor." For several years, he was universal- 
ly known in the market by that title. Fortunate- 
ly, his father had no wish to obtain undue advantage 
in the sale of his produce ; for had it been otherwise, 
his straight-forward little son would have proved a 
poor agent in transacting his affairs. One day, 
when a citizen inquired the price of a pair of chick- 
ens, he answered, with the utmost simplicity, " My 
father told me to sell them for fifty cents if I could ; 
and if not, to take forty." 

"Well done, my honest little fellow!" said the 
gentleman, smiling, "I will give you whatever is 
the current price. I shall look out for you in the 
market ; and whenever I see you, I shall always 
try to trade with you." And he kept his word, 

When quite a small boy, he was sent some dis- 
tance of an errand, and arrived just as the family 
were about to sit down to supper. There were 
several pies on the table, and they invited him to 
partake. The long walk had whetted his appe- 
tite, and the pies looked exceedingly tempting ; but 
the shyness of childhood led him to say, "No, I 
thank you." When he had delivered his message, 


he lingered, and lingered, hoping they would ask 
linn again. But the family were Quakers, and 
they understood yea to mean yea, and nay to mean 
nay. They would have considered it a mere worldly 
compliment to repeat the invitation ; so they were 
si h >nt. Isaac started for home, much repenting of 
his hash fulness, and went nearly half of the way 
revolving the subject in his mind. He then walked 
back to the house, marched holdly into the supper- 
room, and said, "I told a lie when I was here. I 
did want a piece of pie; but I thought to be sure 
you would ask me again." This explicit avowal 
made them all smile, and he was served with as 
much pie as he wished to eat. 

The steadfastness of his whig principles led him 
to take a lively interest in anecdotes concerning 
revolutionary heroes. His mother had a brother in 
Philadelphia, who lived in a house formerly occupied 
by William Penn, at the corner of Second Street and 
Norris Alley. This uncle frequently cu,t and made 
garments for General Washington, Benjamin Frank- 
lin, and other distinguished men. Nothing pleased 
Isaac better than a visit to this city relative ; and 
when there, his boyish mind w r as much occupied 
with watching for the famous men, of whom he had 
heard so much talk. Once, when General Wash- 
ington came there to order some garments, he fol- 
lowed him a long distance from the shop. The 


General had observed his wonder and veneration, and 
was amused by it. Coming to a corner of the street, he 
turned round suddenly, touched his hat, and made a 
very low bow. This playful condescension so complete- 
ly confused his juvenile admirer, that he stood blush- 
ing and bewildered for an instant, then walked hastily 
away, without remembering to return the salutation. 
The tenderness of spirit often manifested by him, 
was very remarkable in such a resolute and mis- 
chievous boy. There was an old unoccupied 
barn in the neighborhood, a favorite resort of swal- 
lows in the Spring-time. When he was about ten 
years old, he invited a number of boys to meet him 
the next Sunday morning, to go and pelt the swal- 
lows. They set ofFon this expedition with anticipa- 
tions of a fine frolic ; but before they had gone far, 
Isaac began to feel a strong conviction that he was 
doing wrong. He told his companions he thought it 
was very cruel sport to torment and kill poor little 
innocent birds ; especially as they might destroy 
mothers, and then the little ones would be left to 
starve. There was a Quaker meeting-house about a 
mile and a half distant, and he proposed that they 
should all go there, and leave the swallows in peace. 
But the boys only laughed at him, and ran off shout- 
ing, "Come on! Come on!" He looked after them 
sorrowfully for some minutes, reproaching himself 
for the suffering he had caused the poor birds. He 


then walked off to meeting alone ; and his faithful- 
ness to the light within him was followed by a sweet 
peacefulness and serenity of soul. The impression 
made by this incident, and the state of mind he en- 
joyed while in meeting, was one of the earliest influ- 
ences that drew him into the Society of Friends. — 
When he returned home, he heard that one of the 
boys had broken his arm while stoning the swallows, 
and had been writhing with pain, while he had been 
enjoying the consolations of an approving conscience. 

At an early age, he was noted for being a sure 
shot, with bow and arrow, or with gun. A pair of 
king-birds built in his father's orchard, and it was de- 
sirable to get rid of them, because they destroy ho- 
ney-bees. Isaac watched for an opportunity, and one 
day when the birds flew away in quest of food for 
their young, he transfixed them both at once with his 
arrow. At first, he was much delighted with this ex- 
ploit ; but his compassionate heart soon became trou- 
bled about the orphan little ones, whom he pictured 
to himself as anxiously expecting the parents that 
would never return to feed them again. This feeling 
gained such strength within him. that he early re- 
linquished the practice of shooting, though he found 
keen excitement in the pursuit, and was not a little 
proud of his skill. 

Once, when he had entrapped a pair of partridges, 
he put them in a box, intending to keep them there. 


But he soon began to query with himself whether 
creatures accustomed to fly must not necessarily be 
very miserable shut up in such a limited space. He 
accordingly opened the door. One of the partridges 
immediately walked out, but soon returned to prison 
to invite his less ventursome mate. The box was 
removed a few days after, but the birds remained 
about the garden for months, often coming to the 
door-step to pick up crumbs that were thrown to 
them. When the mating-season returned the next 
year, they retired to the woods. 

From earliest childhood he evinced great fondness 
for animals, and watched with lively interest all the 
little creatures of the woods and fields. He was fa- 
miliar with all their haunts, and they gave names to 
the localities of his neighborhood. There was Tur- 
key Causeway, where wild turkies abounded; and 
Rabbit Swamp, where troops of timid little rabbits 
had their hiding places ; and Squirrel Grove, where 
many squirrels laid in their harvest of acorns for the 
winter ; and Panther Bridge, where his grandfather 
had killed a panther. 

Once, when his father and the workmen had been 
cutting down a quantity of timber, Isaac discovered 
a squirrel's nest in a hole of one of the trees that had 
fallen. It contained four new-born little ones, their 
eyes not yet opened. He was greatly tempted to 
carry them home, but they were so young that they 


needed their mother's milk. So after examining 
them, he put them back in the nest, and with his 
usual busy helpfulness went to assist in stripping 
bark from the trees. When he went home from his 
work, toward evening, he felt curious to see how the 
mother squirrel would behave when she returned and 
found her home was gone, lie accordingly hid 
himself in a bush to Watch her proceedings. About 
dusk, she came running along the stone wall with a 
nut in her mouth, and went with all speed to the old 
familiar tree. Finding nothing but a stump remain- 
ing there, she dropped the nut and looked around in 
evident dismay. She went smelling all about the 
ground, then mounted the stump to take a survey of 
l he country. She raised herself on her hind legs and 
snuffed the air, with an appearance of great perplexi- 
ty and distress. She ran round the stump several 
times, occasionally raising herself on her hind legs, 
and peering about in every direction, to discover 
what had become of her young family. At last, she 
jumped on the prostrate trunk of the tree, and ran 
along till she came to the hole where her babies 
were concealed. What the manner of their meeting 
was nobody can tell; but doubtless the mother's 
heart beat violently when she discovered her lost 
treasures all safe on the warm little bed of moss she 
had so carefully prepared for them. After staying a 
few minutes to give them their supper, she came out, 


and scampered off through the bushes. In about fif- 
teen minutes, she returned and took one of the 
young ones in her mouth, and carried it quickly to a 
hole in another tree, three or four hundred yards off, 
and then came back and took the others, one by one, 
till she had conveyed them all to their new home. 
The intelligent instinct manifested by this little quad- 
ruped excited great interest in Isaac's observing mind. 
When he drove the cows to pasture, he always went 
by that tree, to see how the young family were get- 
ting along. In a short time, they were running all 
over the tree with their careful mother, eating acorns 
under the shady boughs, entirely unconscious of the 
perils through which they had passed in infancy. 

Some time after, Isaac traded with another boy 
for a squirrel taken from the nest before its eyes 
were open. He made a bed of moss for it, and fed it 
very tenderly. At first, he was afraid it would not 
live ; but it seemed healthy, though it never grew 
so large as other squirrels. He did not put it in a 
cage ; for he said to himself that a creature made to 
frisk about in the green woods could not be happy 
shut up in a box. This pretty little animal became 
so much attached to her kind-hearted protector, that 
she would run about after him, and come like a kit- 
ten whenever he called her. While he was gone to 
school, she frequently ran off to the woods and play- 


cd with wild squirrels on a tree that grew near his 
path homeward. Sometimes she took a nap in a 
large knot-hole, or, if the weather was very warm, 
made a cool bed of leaves across a crotch of the 
boughs, and slept there. When Isaac passed under 
the tree, on his way from school, he used to call 
"Bun! Bun! Bun!" If she w T as there, she would 
come to him immediately, run up on his shoulder, 
and so ride home to get her supper. 

It seemed as if animals w T ere in some way aware 
of his kindly feelings, and disposed to return his con- 
fidence ; for on several occasions they formed singu 
Lai intimacies with him. When he was six or seven 
years old, he spied a crow's nest in a high tree, and, 
according to his usual custom, he climbed up to make 
discoveries. He found that it contained two eggs, 
and he watched the crow's movements until her 
young ones were hatched and ready to fly. Then 
he took them home. One was accidentally killed a 
few days after, but he reared the other, and named 
it Cupid. The bird became so very tame, that it 
would feed from his hand, perch on his shoulder, or 
his hat, and go everywhere with him. It frequently 
followed him for miles, when he went to mill or mar- 
ket. He was never put into a cage, but flew in and 
out of the house, just as he pleased. If Isaac called 
" Cu ! Cu !" he would hear him, even if he were up 
in the highest tree, would croak a friendly answer, 


and come down directly. If Isaac winked one eye, 
the crow would do the same. If he winked his 
other eye, the crow also winked with his other eye. 
Once when Cupid was on his shoulder, he pointed to 
a snake lying in the road, and said " Cu ! Cu !" — 
The sagacious bird pounced on the head of the 
snake and killed him instantly ; then flew back to 
his friend's shoulder, cawing with all his might, as if 
delighted with his exploit. If a stranger tried to 
take him, he would fly away, screaming with terror. 
Sometimes Isaac covered him with a handkerchief 
and placed him on a stranger's shoulder ; but as soon 
as he discovered where he was, he seemed frighten- 
ed almost to death. He usually chose to sleep on 
the roof of a shed, directly under Isaac's bed-room 
window. One night he heard him cawing very loud, 
and the next morning he said to his father, " I heard 
Cupid talking in his sleep last night." His father 
inquired whether he had seen him since ; and when 
Isaac answered, "No," he said, "Then I am afraid 
the owls have taken him." The poor bird did not 
make his appearance again ; and a few days after, 
his bones and feathers were found on a stump, not 
far from the house. This was a great sorrow for 
Isaac. It tried his young heart almost like the loss 
of a brother. 

His intimacy with animals was of a very pleasant 
nature, except on one occasion, when he thrust his 


arm into a hollow tree, in search of squirrels, and 
pulled out a large black snake. He was so ter- 
rified, that he tumbled headlong from the tree, and 
it was difficult to tell which ran away fastest, he or 
the snake. This incident inspired the bold boy with 
iear, which he vainly tried to overcome during the 
eniamder of Ins life. There was a thicket of under- 
brush between his father's farm and the village of 
"Woodbury. Once, when he was sent of an errand 
to the village, he was seized with such a dread of 
snakes, that before entering among the bushes, he 
placed his basket on an old rail, knelt down and 
prayed earnestly that he might pass through without 
encountering a snake. When he rose up and at- 
tempted to take his basket, he perceived a large 
black snake lying close beside the rail. It may well 
be believed that he went through the thicket too 
fast to allow any grass to grow under his feet. 

When he drove the cows to and from pasture, he 
often met an old colored man named Mingo. His 
sympathizing heart was attracted toward him, be- 
cause he had heard the neighbors say he was stolen 
from Africa when he was a little boy. One day, he 
asked Mingo what part of the world he came from; 
and the poor old man told how he was playing with 
other children among the bushes, on the coast of 
Africa, when white men pounced upon them suddenly 
and dragged them off to a ship. He held fast hold 


of the thorny bushes, which tore his hands dreadfully 
in the struggle. The old man wept like a child, 
when he told how he was frightened and distressed 
at being thus hurried away from father, mother, 
brothers and sisters, and sold into slavery, in a 
distant land, where he could never see or hear from 
them again. This painful story made a very deep 
impression upon Isaac's mind ; and, though he was 
then only nine years old, he made a solemn vow to 
himself that he would be the friend of oppressed 
Africans during his whole life. 

He was as precocious in love, as in other matters. 
Not far from his home, lived a prosperous and highly 
respectable Quaker family, named Tatum. There 
were several sons, but only one daughter ; a hand- 
some child, with clear, fair complexion, blue eyes, 
and a profusion of brown curly hair. She was Isaac's 
cousin, twice removed; for their great-grandfathers 
were half-brothers. When he was only eight years old, 
and she was not yet five, he made up his mind that 
little Sarah Tatum was his wife. He used to walk a 
mile and a half every day, on purpose to escort her to 
school. When they rambled through the woods, in 
search of berries, it was his delight to sit beside her 
on some old stump, and twist her glossy brown 
ringlets over his fingers. A lovely picture they must 
have made in the green, leafy frame-work of the 
woods — that fair, blue-eyed girl, and the handsome, 


vigorous boy ! When he was fourteen years old, he 
wrote to her his first love-letter. The village school- 
master taught for very low wages, and was not re- 
markably well-qualified for his task ; as was gene- 
rally the case at that early period. Isaac's labor 
\\ as needed on the farm all the summer ; conse- 
quently, he was able to attend school only three 
months during the winter. He was, therefore, so 
little acquainted with the forms of letter-writing, 
that he put Sarah's name inside the letter, and his 
own on the outside. She, being an only daughter, 
and a great pet in her family, had better opportuni- 
ties for education. She told her young lover that 
was not the correct way to write a letter, and in- 
structed him how to proceed in future. From that 
time, they corresponded constantly. 

Isaac likewise formed a very strong friendship 
with his cousin Joseph Whitall, who was his school- 
mate, and about his own age. They shared together 
all their joys and troubles, and were companions in 
all boyish enterprises. Thus was a happy though 
laborious childhood passed in the seclusion of the 
woods, in the midst of home influences and rustic 
occupations. His parents had no leisure to bestow 
on intellectual culture ; for they had a numerous 
family of children, and it required about all their 
time to feed and clothe them respectably. But they 
were worthy, kind-hearted people, whose moral pre- 


cepts were sustained by their upright example. His 
father was a quiet man, but exceedingly firm and 
energetic. When he had made up his mind to do a 
thing, no earthly power could turn him from his 
purpose ; especially if any question of conscience 
were involved therein. During the revolutionary 
war, he faithfully maintained his testimony against 
the shedding of blood, and suffered considerably for 
refusing to pay military taxes. Isaac's mother was 
noted for her fearless character, and blunt directness 
of speech. She was educated in the Presbyterian 
faith, and this was a source of some discordant feel- 
ing between her and her husband. The preaching 
of her favorite ministers seemed to him harsh and 
rigid, while she regarded Quaker exhortations as 
insipid and formal. But as time passed on, her 
religious views assimilated more and more with his ; 
and about twenty-four years after their marriage, she 
joined the Society of Friends, and frequently spoke 
at their meetings. She was a spiritual minded wo- 
man, always ready to sympathise with the afflicted, 
and peculiarly kind to animals. They were both ex- 
tremely hospitable and benevolent to the poor. On 
Sunday evenings, they convened all the family to 
listen to the Scriptures and other religious books. — 
In his journal Isaac alludes to this custom, and says : 
" My mind was often solemnized by these opportuni- 


ties, and I resolved to live more consistently with the 
principles of christian sobriety." 

When he was sixteen years old, it became a ques- 
tion to what business he should devote himself. — ■ 
There was a prospect of obtaining a situation for him 
in a store at Philadelphia ; and for that purpose it 
was deemed expedient that he should take up his 
abode for a while w T ith his maternal uncle, whose 
house he had been so fond of visiting in early boy- 
hood. He did not succeed in obtaining the situation 
he expected, but remained in the city on the look-out 
for some suitable employment. Meanwhile, he was 
very helpful to his uncle, who, finding him diligent 
and skillful, tried to induce him to learn his trade. — 
It was an occupation ill-adapted to his vigorous body 
and active mind ; but he was not of a temperament 
to fold his hands and wait till something "turned 
up ;" and as his uncle was doing a prosperous busi- 
ness, he concluded to accept his proposition. About 
the same time, his beloved cousin, Joseph Whitall, 
was sent to Trenton to study law. This w T as rather 
a severe trial to Isaac's feelings. Not that he envied 
his superior advantages ; but he had sad forebodings 
that separation would interrupt their friendship, and 
that such a different career would be very likely to 
prevent its renewal. They parted with mutual re- 
gret, and did not meet again for several years. 

When Isaac bade adieu to the paternal roof, his 


mother looked after him thoughtfully, and remarked 
to one of his sisters, " Isaac is no common boy. — 
He will do something great, either for good or evil." 
She called him back and said, "My son, you are 
now going forth to make your own way in the world. 
Always remember that you are as good as any other 
person ; but remember also that you are no better." 
With this farewell injunction, he departed for Phila- 
delphia, where he soon acquired the character of a 
faithful and industrious apprentice. 

But his boyish love of fun was still strong within 
him, and he was the torment of all his fellow ap- 
prentices. One of them, named William Roberts, 
proposed that they should go together into the cellar 
to steal a pitcher of cider. Isaac pulled the spile, 
and while William was drawing the liquor, he took 
an unobserved opportunity to hide it. When the 
pitcher was full, he pretended to look all around for 
it, without being able to find it. At last, he told his 
unsuspecting comrade that he must thrust his finger 
into the hole and keep it there, while he went to get 
another spile. William waited and waited for him 
to return, but when an hour or more had elapsed, his 
patience was exhausted, and he began to Halloo ! — 
The noise, instead of bringing Isaac to his assist- 
ance, brought the mistress of the house, who caught 
the culprit at the cider-barrel, and gave him a severe 


scolding, to the infinite gratification of his mischiev- 
ous companion. 

Once, when the family were all going away, his 
uncle left the house in charge of him and another ap- 
prentice, telling them to defend themselves if any 
robbers came. Having a mind to try the courage of 
the lads, he returned soon after, and attempted to 
force a window in the back part of the house, which 
opened upon a narrow alley inclosed by a high fence. 
As soon as Isaac heard the noise, he seized an old 
harpoon that was about the premises, and told his 
companion to open the window the instant he gave 
the signal. His orders were obeyed, and he flung 
the harpoon with such force, that it passed through 
his uncle's vest and coat, and nailed him tight to the 
fence. When he told the story, he used to say he 
never afterward deemed it necessary to advise Isaac 
to defend himself. 

Among the apprentices was one much older and 
stouter than the others. He was very proud of his 
physical strength, and delighted to play the tyrant 
over those who were younger and weaker than him- 
self. When Isaac saw him knocking them about, 
he felt an almost irresistible temptation to fight ; but 
his uncle was a severe man, likely to be much in- 
censed by quarrels among his apprentices. He 
knew, moreover, that a battle between him and Sam- 
son would be very unequal ; so he restrained his in- 


dignation as well as he could. But one day, when 
the big bully knocked him down, without the slight- 
est provocation, he exclaimed, in great wrath, "If 
you ever do that again, I'll kill you. Mind what I 
say. I tell you I'll kill you." 

Samson snapped his fingers and laughed, and the 
next day he knocked him down again. Isaac armed 
himself with a heavy window-bar, and when the ap- 
prentices were summoned to breakfast, he laid wait 
behind a door, and levelled a blow at the tyrant, as 
he passed through. He fell, without uttering a sin- 
gle cry. When the family sat down to breakfast, 
Mr. Tatem said, "Where is Samson?" 

His nephew coolly replied, "I've killed him." 

"Killed him!" exclaimed the uncle. "What do 
you mean ?" 

" I told him I would kill him if he ever knocked 
me down again," rejoined Isaac ; "and I have killed 

They rushed out in the utmost consternation, and 
found the young man entirely senseless. A physi- 
cian was summoned, and for some time they feared 
he was really dead. The means employed to restore 
him were at last successful ; but it w r as long before 
he recovered from the efFects of the blow. When 
Isaac saw him so pale and helpless, a terrible re- 
mise filled his soul. He shuddered to think how 
nearly he had committed murder, in one rash moment 


ot unbridled rage. This awful incident made such a 
solemn and deep impression on him, that from that 
time he began to make strong and earnest efforts to 
control the natural impetuosity of his temper ; and 
he finally attained to a remarkable degree of self- 
control. Weary hours of debility brought wiser 
thoughts to Samson also ; and when he recovered 
his strength, he never again misused it by abusing 
his companions. 

In those days, Isaac did not profess to be a Qua- 
ker. He used the customary language of the world, 
and liked to display his well-proportioned figure in 
neat and fashionable clothing. The young women 
of his acquaintance, it is said, looked upon him with 
rather favorable eyes ; but his thoughts never wan- 
dered from Sarah Tatum for a single day. Once, 
when he had a new suit of clothes, and stylish boots, 
the tops turned down with red, a young man of his 
acquaintance invited him to go home with him on 
Saturday evening and spend Sunday. He accepted 
the invitation, and set out well pleased with the ex- 
pedition. The young maji had a sister, who took it 
into her head that the visit was intended as an espe- 
cial compliment to herself. The brother was called 
out somewhere in the neighborhood, and as soon as 
she found herself alone with their guest, she began 
to specify, in rather significant terms, what she 
should require of a man who wished to marry her. — 


Her remarks made Isaac rather fidgetty ; but he re- 
plied, in general terms, that he thought her ideas on 
the subject were very correct. "I suppose you 
think my father will give me considerable money," 
said she ; "but that is a mistake. Whoever takes 
me must take me for myself alone." 

The young man tried to stammer out that he did 
not come on any such errand ; but his wits were be- 
wildered by this unexpected siege, and he could not 
frame a suitable reply. She mistook his confusion 
for the natural timidity of love, and went on to ex- 
press the high opinion she entertained of him. Isaac 
looked wistfully at the door, in hopes her brother 
would come to his rescue. But no relief came from 
that quarter, and fearing he should find himself en- 
gaged to be married without his own consent, he 
caught up his hat and rushed out. It was raining 
fast, but he splashed through mud and water, with- 
out stopping to choose his steps. Crossing the yard 
in this desperate haste, he encountered the brother, 
who called out, " Where are you going?" 

"I'm going home," he replied. 

" Going home !" exclaimed his astonished friend, 
"Why it is raining hard; and you came to stay all 
night. What does possess you, Isaac ? Come back ! 
Come back, I say !" 

"I won't come back !" shouted Isaac, from the dis- 
tance. " I'm going home;" And home he went. — 


His new clothes were well spattered, and his red-top 
boots loaded with mud ; but though he prided him- 
self on keeping his apparel in neat condition, he 
thought he had got off cheaply on this occasion. 

Soon after he went to reside in Philadelphia, a sea 
captain by the name of Cox came to his uncle's on a 
visit. As the captain was one day passing through 
Norris Alley, he met a young colored man, named 
Joe, whose master he had known in Bermuda. He 
at once accused him of being a runaway slave, and 
ordered him to go to the house with him. Joe called 
him his old friend, and seemed much pleased at the 
meeting. He said he had been sent from Bermuda 
to New- York in a vessel, which he named ; he had 
obtained permission to go a few miles into the coun- 
try, to see his sister, and while he was gone, the ves- 
sel unfortunately sailed ; he called upon the con- 
signee and asked what he had better do under the 
circumstances, and he told him that his captain had 
left directions for him to go to Philadelphia and take 
passage home by the first vessel. Captain Cox was 
entirely satisfied with this account. He said there 
was a vessel then in port, which would sail for Ber- 
muda in a few days, and told Joe he had better go 
and stay with him at Mr. Tatem's house, while he 
made inquiries about it. 

When Isaac entered the kitchen that evening, he 
found Joe sitting there, in a very disconsolate atti- 


tude ; and watching him closely he observed tears 
now and then trickling- down his dark cheeks. He 
thought of poor old Mingo, whose pitiful story had 
so much interested him in boyhood, and caused him 
to form a resolution to be the friend of Africans. — 
The more he pondered on the subject, the more he 
doubted whether Joe was so much pleased to meet 
his "old friend," as he had pretended to be. He took 
him aside and said, "Tell me truly how the case 
stands with you. I will be your friend; and come 
what will, you may feel certain that I will never be- 
tray you." Joe gave him an earnest look of distress 
and scrutiny, which his young benefactor never for- 
got. Again he assured him, most solemnly, that he 
might trust him. Then Joe ventured to acknowl- 
edge that he was a fugitive slave, and had great 
dread of being returned into bondage. He said his 
master let him out to work on board a ship going to 
New- York. He had a great desire for freedom, and 
when the vessel arrived at its destined port, he made 
his escape, and travelled to Philadelphia, in hopes of 
finding some one willing to protect him. Unluckily, 
the very day he entered the City of Brotherly Love 
he met his old acquaintance Captain Cox ; and on 
the spur of the moment he had invented the best sto- 
ry he could. 

Isaac was then a mere lad, and he had been in 
Philadelphia too short a time to form many acquain- 


tances ; but he imagined what his own feelings would 
be if he were in poor Joe's situation, and he deter- 
mined to contrive some way or other to assist him. 
He consulted with a prudent and benevolent neigh- 
bor, who told him that a Quaker by the name of 
John Stapler, in Buck's County, was a good friend 
to colored people, and the fugitive had better be sent 
to him. Accordingly, a letter was written to Friend 
Stapler, and given to Joe, with instructions how to 
proceed. Meanwhile, Captain Cox brought tidings 
that he had secured a passage to Bermuda. Joe 
thanked him, and went on board the vessel, as he 
was ordei-ed. But a day or two after, he obtained 
permission to go to Mr. Tatem's house to procure 
some clothes he had left there. It was nearly sunset 
when he left the ship and started on the route, which 
Isaac had very distinctly explained to him. When 
the sun disappeared, the bright moon came forth. — 
By her friendly light, he travelled on -with a hopeful 
heart until the dawn of day, when he arrived at 
Friend Stapler's house and delivered the letter. He 
was received with great kindness, and a situation 
was procured for him in the neighborhood, where he 
spent the remainder of his life comfortably, with 
"none to molest or make him afraid." 

This was the first opportunity Isaac had of carry- 
ing into effect his early resolution to befriend the op- 
pressed Africans. 


While the experiences of life were thus deepening 
and strengthening his character, the fair child, 
Sarah Tatum, was emerging into womanhood. She 
was a great belle in her neighborhood, admired by 
the young men for her comely person, and by the old 
for her good sense and discreet manners. He had 
many competitors for her favor. Once, when he 
went to invite her to ride to Quarterly Meeting, he 
found three Quaker beaux already there, with horses 
and sleighs for the same purpose. But though some 
of her admirers abounded in worldly goods, her mind 
never swerved from the love of her childhood. The 
bright affectionate school-boy, who delighted to sit 
with her under the shady trees, and twist her shin- 
ing curls over his fingers, retained his hold upon her 
heart as long as its pulses throbbed. 

Her father at first felt some uneasiness, lest his 
daughter should marry out of the Society of Friends. 
But Isaac had been for some time seriously impressed 
with the principles they professed, and when he as- 
sured the good old gentleman that he would never take 
Sarah out of the Society, of which she was born a 
member, he was perfectly satisfied to receive him as 
a son-in-law. 

At that period, there were several remarkable in- 
dividuals among Quaker preachers in that part of the 
country, and their meetings were unusually lively 
and spirit-stirring. One of them, named Nicholas 


Wain, was educated in the Society of Friends, but 
in early life seems to have cared little about their 
principles. He was then an ambitious, money-loving 
man, remarkably successful in worldly affairs. But 
the principles inculcated in childhood probably re- 
mained latent within him ; for when he was rapidly 
acquiring wealth and distinction by the practice of 
law, he suddenly, relinquished it, from conscientious 
motives. This change of feeling is said to have been 
owing to the following incident. He had charge of 
an important case, where a large amount of property 
was at stake. In the progress of the cause, he be- 
came more and more aware that right was not on 
the side of his client ; but to desert him in the midst 
was incompatible with his ideas of honor as a law- 
yer. This produced a conflict within him, which he 
could not immediately settle to his own satisfaction. 
A friend, who met him after the case was decided; 
inquired what was the result. He replied, "I did 
the best I could for my client. I have gained the 
cause for him, and have thereby defrauded an honest 
man of his just dues." He seemed sad and thought- 
ful, and would never after plead a cause at the bar. 
He dismissed his students, and returned to his clients 
all the money he had received for unfinished cases. 
For some time afterward, he appeared to take no in- 
terest in anything but his own religious state of feel- 
ing. He eventually became a preacher, very popu- 



lar among Friends, and much admired by others. — 
His sermons were usually short, and very impressive. 
A cotemporary thus describes the effect of his preach- 
ing : " The whole assembly seemed to be baptized 
together, and so covered with solemnity, that when 
the meeting broke up, no one wished to enter into 
conversation with another." He was particularly 
zealous against a paid ministry, and not unfrequently 
quoted the text, "Put me in the priest's office, I 
pray thee, that I may eat a piece of bread." One of 
his most memorable discourses began with these 
words: "The lawyers, the priests, and the doctors, 
these are the deceivers of men." He was so highly 
esteemed, that when he entered the court-house, as 
he occasionally did, to aid the poor or the oppressed 
in some way, it was not uncommon for judges and 
lawyers to rise spontaneously in token of respect. — 
Isaac had great veneration for his character, and was 
much edified by his ministry. 

Mary Ridgeway, a small, plain, uneducated wo- 
man, was likewise remarkably persuasive and pene- 
trating in her style of preaching, which appeared to 
Isaac like pure inspiration. Her exhortations took 
deep hold of his youthful feelings, and strongly 
influenced him to a religious life. 

But more powerful than all other agencies was the 
preaching of William Savery. He was a tanner by 
trade ; remarked by all who knew him as a man who 


"walked humbly with his God." One night, a quan- 
tity of hides were stolen from his tannery, and he 
\u\d reason to believe that the thief was a quarrel- 
some, drunken neighbor, whom I will call John 
Smith. The next week, the following advertisement 
appeared in the County newspaper : "Whoever stole 
a lot of hides on the fifth of the present month, is 
hereby informed that the owner has a sincere wish 
to be his friend. If poverty tempted him to this 
false step, the owner will keep the whole transaction 
secret, and will gladly put him in the way of obtain- 
ing money by means more likely to bring him peace 
of mind." This singular advertisement attracted 
considerable attention ; but the culprit alone knew 
whence the benevolent offer came. When he read 
it, his heart melted within him, and he was filled 
with contrition for what he had done. A few nights 
afterward, as the tanner's family were about retiring 
to rest, they heard a timid knock, and when the door 
was opened, there stood John Smith with a load of 
hides on his shoulder. Without looking up, he said, 
" I have brought these back, Mr. Savery. Where 
shall I put them ?" "Wait till I can light a lantern, 
and I will go to the barn with thee," he replied. — 
"Then perhaps thou wilt come in and tell me how 
this happened. We will see what can be done for 
thee." As soon as they were gone out, his wife pre- 
pared some hot coffee, and placed pies and meat on 


the table. When they returned from the barn, she 
said "Neighbor Smith, I thought some hot supper 
would be good for thee. ,, He turned his back to- 
ward her and did not speak. After leaning against 
the fire-place in silence for a moment, he said, in a 
choked voice, "It is the first time I ever stole any- 
thing, and I have felt 4 very bad about it. I don't 
know how it is. I am sure I didn't think once that 
I should ever come to be what I am. But I took to 
drinking, and then to quarrelling. Since I began to 
go down hill, everybody gives me a kick. You are 
the first man who has ever offered me a helping 
hand. My wife is sickly, and my children are starv- 
ing. You have sent them many a meal, God bless 
you ! and yet I stole the hides from you, meaning to 
sell them the first chance I could get. But I tell 
you the truth when I say it is the first time I was 
ever a thief." 

"Let it be the last, my friend," replied William 
Savery. " The secret shall remain between our- 
selves. Thou art still young, and it is in thy power 
to make up for lost time. Promise me that thou 
wilt not drink any intoxicating liquor for a year, and 
I will employ thee to-morrow at good wages. Per- 
haps we may find some employment for thy family 
also. The little boy can at least pick up stones. — 
But eat a bit now, and drink some hot coffee. Per- 
haps it will keep thee from craving anything stronger 


to-night. Doubtless, thou wilt find it hard to abstai 
at first ; but keep up a brave heart, for the sake of 
thy wife and children, and it will soon become easy. 
When thou hast need of cofTee, tell Mary, and she 
will always give it to thee." 

The poor fellow tried to eat and drink, but the 
food seemed to choke him. After an ineffectual ef- 
fort to compose his excited feelings, he bowed his 
head on the table, and wept like a child. After a 
while, he ate and drank with good appetite; and his 
host parted with him for the night with this kindly 
exhortation; "Try to do w r ell, John; and thou wilt 
always find a friend in me." 

He entered into his employ the next day, and re- 
mained with him many years, a sober, honest, and 
faithful man. The secret of the theft was kept be- 
tween them ; but after John's death, William Savery 
sometimes told the story, to prove that evil might be 
overcome with good. 

This practical preacher of righteousness was like- 
wise a great preacher orally; if greatness is to be 
measured by the effect produced on the souls of 
others. Through his ministry, the celebrated Mrs. 
Fry was first excited to a lively interest in religion. 
When he visited England in 1798, she was Elizabeth 
Gurney, a lively girl of eighteen, rather fond of dress 
and company. Her sister, alluding to the first ser- 
mon they heard from William Savery, writes thus: 


"His voice and manner were arresting, and we all 
liked the sound. Elizabeth became a good deal agu 
tated, and 1 saw her begin to weep. The next 
morning, when she took breakfast with him at her 
uncle's, he preached to her after breakfast, and pro- 
phesied of the high and important calling she would 
be led into." Elizabeth herself made the following 
record of it in her journal; "In hearing William Sa 
very preach, he seemed to me to overflow with true 
religion ; to be humble, and yet a man of great abili- 
ties. Having been gay and disbelieving, only a few 
years ago, makes him better acquainted with the 
heart of one in the same condition. We had much 
serious conversation. What he said, and what I felt 
was like a refreshing shower falling upon earth that 
had been dried up for ages." 

This good and gifted man often preached in Phila- 
delphia; not only at stated seasons, on the first and 
fifth day of the week, but at evening meetings also, 
where the Spirit is said to have descended upon 
him and his hearers in such copious measure that 
they were reminded of the gathering of the apostles 
on the day of Pentecost. Isaac was at an impressible 
age, and on those occasions his thirsty soul drank 
eagerly from the fountain of living water. He never 
forgot those refreshing meetings. To the end of his 
days, whenever anything reminded him of William 
Savery, he would utter a warm eulogium on his deep 


spirituality, his tender benevolence, his cheerful, ge- 
nial temper, and the simple dignity of his deport- 
nu'iil . 

Isaac was about twenty-two years old, when he 
was received as a member of the Society of Friends. 
It was probably the pleasantest period of his exis- 
tence. Love and religion, the two deepest and 
brightest experiences of human life, met together, 
and flowed into his earnest soul in one full stream. 
I In felt perfeftly satisfied that he had found the one 
true religion. The plain mode of worship suited the 
simplicity of his character, while the principles incul- 
cated were peculiarly well calculated to curb the vio- 
lence of his temper, and to place his strong will un- 
der the restraint of conscience. Duties toward God 
and his fellow men stood forth plainly revealed to 
him in the light that shone so clearly in his awaken- 
ed soul. Late in life, he often used to refer to this 
early religious experience as a sweet season of peace 
and joy. He said it seemed as if the very air were 
fragrant, and the sunlight more glorious than it had 
ever been before. The plain Quaker meeting-house 
in the quiet fields of Woodbury was to him indeed a 
house of prayer, though its silent worship was often 
undisturbed by a single uttered word. Blended with 
those spiritual experiences was the fair vision of his 
beloved Sarah, who always attended meeting, serene 
in her maiden beauty. The joy of renovated friend- 


ship also awaited him there, in that quaint old gath- 
ering place of simple worshippers. When he parted 
from his dear cousin, Joseph Whitall, they were both 
young men of good moral characters, but not serious- 
ly thoughtful concerning religion. Years elapsed, 
and each knew not whither the other was travelling in 
spiritual experiences. But one day, when Isaac went 
to meeting as usual, and was tying his horse in the 
shed, a young man in the plain costume of the 
Friends came to tie his horse also. A glance showed 
that it was Joseph Whitall, the companion of his 
boyhood and youth. For an instant, they stood sur- 
prised and silent, looking at each other's dress ; for 
until then neither of them was aware that the other 
had become a Quaker. Tears started to their eyes, 
and they embraced each other. They had long and 
precious interviews afterward, in which they talked 
over the circumstances that had inclined them to re- 
flect on serious subjects, and the reasons which induc- 
ed them to consider the Society of Friends as the 
best existing representative of Christianity. 

The gravity of their characters at this period, 
may be inferred from the following letter, written 
in 1794: 

"Dear Isaac, — 

While I sat in retirement this evening, 
thou wert brought fresh into my remembrance, with 
a warm desire for thy welfare and preservation. 


Wherefore, be encouraged to press forward and 
persevere in the high and holy way wherein thou 
hast measurably, through mercy, begun to tread. 
From our childhood I have had an affectionate re- 
gard for thee, which hath been abundantly increased ; 
and, in the covenant of life I have felt thee near. 
May we, my beloved friend, now in the spring time 
of life, in the morning of our days, with full purpose 
of heart cleave unto the Lord. May we seek Him 
for our portion and our inheritance ; that He may 
be pleased, in his wonderful loving kindness, to be 
our counsellor and director ; that, in times of trouble 
and commotion, we may have a safe hiding-place, 
an unfailing refuge. I often feel the want of a 
greater dependance, a more steadfast leaning, upon 
that Divine Arm of power, which ever hath been, and 
still is, the true support of the righteous. Yet, I am 
sometimes favored to hope that in the Lord's time 
an advancement will be known, and a more full 
establishment in the most holy faith. "For then 
shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord, 
that His going forth is prepared as the morning, and 
He will come unto us as the rain, as the latter and 
the former rain upon the earth." May we, from 
time to time, be favored to feel his animating pre- 
sence, to comfort and strengthen our enfeebled minds, 
that so we may patiently abide in our allotments, 
and look forward with a cheering hope, that, what- 


ever trials and besetments may await us, they may 
tend to our further refinement, and more close union 
in the heavenly covenant. And when the end comes, 
may we be found among those who through many 
tribulations have washed their garments white in the 
blood of the Lamb, and be found worthy to stand 
with him upon Mount Zion. 

So wisheth and prayeth thy affectionate friend, 

Joseph Whitall." 

The letters which passed between him and his 
betrothed partake of the same sedate character ; but 
through the unimpassioned Quaker style gleams the 
steady warmth of sincere affection. There is some- 
thing pleasant in the simplicity with which he usually 
closed his epistles to her: "I am, dear Sally, thy 
real friend, Isaac." 

They were married on the eighteenth of the Ninth 
Month, [September,] 1795; he being nearly twenty- 
four years of age, and she about three years young- 
er. The worldly comforts which a kind Providence 
bestowed on Isaac and his bride, were freely im- 
parted to others. The resolution formed after lis- 
tening to the history of old Mingo's wrongs was 
pretty severely tested by a residence in Philadelphia. 
There were numerous kidnappers prowling about 
the city, and many outrages were committed, which 
would not have been tolerated for a moment toward 
any but a despised race. Pennsylvania being on 


the frontier of the slave states, runaways were often 
passing through ; and the laws on that subject were 
little understood, and less attended to. If a colored 
man was arrested as a fugitive slave, and discharged 
for want of proof, the magistrate received no fee ; 
but if he was adjudged a slave, and surrendered to 
his claimant, the magistrate received from five to 
twenty dollars for his trouble ; of course, there was 
a natural tendency to make the most of evidence in 
favor of slavery. 

Under these circumstances, the Pennsylvania Abo- 
lition Society was frequently called upon to protect 
the rights of colored people. Isaac T. Hopper be- 
came an active and leading member of this associa- 
tion. He was likewise one of the overseers of a 
school for colored children, established by Anthony 
Benezet ; and it was his constant practice, for seve- 
ral years, to teach two or three nights every week, 
in a school for colored adults, established by a socie- 
ty of young men. In process of time, he became 
known to everybody in Philadelphia as the friend 
and legal adviser of colored people upon all emer- 
gencies. The shrewdness, courage, and zeal, with 
which he fulfilled this mission will be seen in the 
course of the following narratives, which I have se- 
lected from a vast number of similar character, in 
which he was the principal agent. 



In 1797, a wealthy gentleman from Virginia went 
to spend the winter in Philadelphia, accompanied 
by his wife and daughter. He had a slave named 
Charles Webster, whom he took with him as coach- 
man and waiter. When they had been in the city a 
few weeks, Charles called upon Isaac T. Hopper, 
and inquired whether he had become free in con- 
sequence of his master's bringing him into Pennsyl- 
vania. It was explained to him, that if he remained 
there six months, with his master's knowledge and 
consent, he would then be a free man, according to 
the laws of Pennsylvania. The slave was quite 
disheartened by this information ; for he supposed 
his owner was well acquainted with the law, and 
would therefore be careful to take him home before 
that term expired. 

"I am resolved never to return to Virginia," said 
he. "Where can I go to be safe?" 

Friend Hopper told him his master might be igno- 
rant of the law, or forgetful of it. He advised him 
to remain with the family until he saw them making 
preparations to return. If the prescribed six months 
expired meanwhile, he would be a free man. If not, 
there would be time enough to consult what had bet- 
ter be done. "It is desirable to obtain thy liberty 
in a legal way, if possible," said he ; " for otherwise 


thou wilt be constantly liable to be arrested, and may 
never again have such a good opportunity to escape 
from bondage." 

Charles hesitated, but finally concluded to accept 
this prudent advice. The time seemed very long to 
the poor fellow ; for he was in a continual panic lest 
his master should take him back to Virginia ; but he 
did his appointed tasks faithfully, and none of the 
family suspected what was passing in his mind. 

The long-counted six months expired at last ; and 
that very day, his master said, " Charles, grease the 
carriage-wheels, and have all things in readiness ; for 
I intend to start for home to-morrow." 

The servant appeared to be well pleased with this 
prospect, and put the carriage and harness in good 
order. As soon as that job was completed, he went 
to Friend Hopper and told him the news. When 
assured that he was now a free man, according to 
law, he could hardly be made to believe it. He was 
all of a tremor with anxiety, and it seemed almost 
impossible to convince him that he was out of dan- 
ger. He was instructed to return to his master till 
next morning, and to send word by one of the hotel 
servants in case he should be arrested meanwhile. 

The next morning, he again called upon Friend 
Hopper, who accompanied him to the office of Wil- 
liam Lewis, a highly respectable lawyer, who would 
never take anv fee for his services on such occa- 


sions. When Mr. Lewis heard the particulars of the 
case, he wrote a polite 'note to the Virginian, inform- 
ing him that his former slave was now free, accord- 
ing to the laws of Pennsylvania ; and cautioning him 
against any attempt to take him away, contrary to 
his own inclination. 

The lawyer advised Friend Hopper to call upon 
the master and have some preparatory conversation 
with him, before Charles was sent to deliver the 
note. He was then only twenty-six years of age, 
and he felt somewhat embarrassed at the idea of call- 
ing upon a wealthy and distinguished stranger, who 
was said to be rather imperious and irritable. How- 
ever, after a little reflection, he concluded it was his 
duty, and accordingly he did it. 

When the Southerner was informed that his ser- 
vant was free, and that a lawyer had been consulted 
on the subject, he was extremely angry, and used 
very contemptuous language concerning people who 
tampered with gentlemen's servants. The young 
Quaker replied. M If thy son were a slave in Algiers, 
thou wouldst thank me for tampering with him to 
procure his liberty. But in the present case, I am 
not obnoxious to the charge thou hast brought ; for 
thy servant came of his own accord to consult me, I 
merely made him acquainted with his legal rights ; 
and I intend to see that he is protected in them." 

When Charles delivered the lawyers note, and his 


master saw that he no longer had any legal power 
over him, he proposed to hire him to drive the car- 
riage home. But Charles was very well aware that 
Virginia would he a very dangerous place for him, 
and he positively refused. The incensed Southerner 
then claimed his servant's clothes as his property, 
and ordered him to strip instantly. Charles did as 
he was ordered, and proceeded to walk out of the 
room naked. Astonished to find him willing to leave 
the house in that condition, he seized him violently, 
thrust him back into the room, and ordered him to 
dress himself. When he had assumed his garments, 
he walked off; and the master and servant never 
met again. 

Charles was shrewd and intelligent, and conducted 
himself in such a manner as to gain respect. He 
married an industrious, economical woman, who serv- 
ed in the family of Chief Justice Tilghman. In pro- 
cess of time, he built a neat two-story house, where 
they brought up reputably a family of fourteen chil- 
dren, who obtained quite a good education at the 
school established by Anthony Benezet. 


Ben was born a slave in Virginia. When he was 
about sixteen years old, his mind became excited on 
the subject of slavery. He could not reconcile it 
with the justice and goodness of the Creator, that 


one man should be born to toil for another without 
wages, to be driven about, and treated like a beast 
of the field. The older he grew, the more heavily 
did these considerations press upon him. At last, 
when he was about twenty-five years old, he resolved 
to gain his liberty, if possible. He left his master, 
and after encountering many difficulties, arrived in 
Philadelphia, where he let himself on board a vessel 
and went several voyages. When he was thirty 
years of age, he married, and was employed as a 
coachman by Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers 
of the Declaration of Independence. He lived with 
him two years ; and when he left, Dr. Rush gave 
him a paper certifying that he was a free man, hon- 
est, sober, and capable. 

In 1799, his master came to Philadelphia, and ar- 
rested him as his fugitive slave. Ben had an extraor- 
dinary degree of intelligence and tact. When his 
master brought him before a magistrate, and demand- 
ed the usual certificate to authorize him to take his 
human chattel back to Virginia, Ben neither admit- 
ted nor denied that he was a slave. He merely show- 
ed the certificate of Dr. Rush, and requested that 
Isaac T. Hopper might be informed of his situation. 
Joseph Bird, the justice before whom the case was 
brought, detested slavery, and was a sincere friend 
to the colored people. He committed Ben to prison 
until morning, and despatched a note to Isaac T. 


Hopper informing him of the circumstance, and re- 
questing- him to call upon Dr. Rush. When the doc- 
tor was questioned, he said he knew nothing about 
Ben's early history ; he lived with him two years, 
and was then a free man. 

When Friend Hopper went to the prison, he found 
Ben in a state of great anxiety and distress. He ad- 
mit ted that he was the slave of the man who claimed 
him, and that he saw no way of escape open for him. 
His friend told him not to be discouraged, and pro- 
mised to exert himself to the utmost in his behalf. 
The constable who had arrested him, sympathized 
with the poor victim of oppression, and promised to 
do what he could for him. Finding him in such a 
humane mood, Friend Hopper urged him to bring 
Ben to the magistrate's office a short time before the 
hour appointed for the trial. He did so, and found 
Friend Hopper already there, watching the clock. 
The moment the hand pointed to nine, he remarked 
that the hour, of which the claimant had been ap- 
prized, had already arrived; no evidence had been 
brought that the man was a slave ; on the contrary, 
Dr. Rush's certificate was strong presumptive evi- 
dence of his being a freeman ; he therefore demand- 
ed that the prisoner should be discharged. Justice 
Bird, having no desire to throw obstacles in the way, 
promptly told Ben he was at liberty, and he lost no 
time in profiting by the information. Just as he 


passed out of the door, he saw his master coming, 
arid ran full speed. He had sufficient presence of 
mind to take a zigzag' course, and running through a 
house occupied by colored people, he succeeded in 
eluding pursuit. 

When Friend Hopper went home, he found him at 
his house. He tried to impress upon his mind the 
peril he would incur by remaining in Philadelphia, 
and advised him by all means to go to sea. But his 
wife was strongly attached to him, and so unwilling 
to consent to this plan, that he concluded to run the 
risk of staying with her. He remained concealed 
about a week, and then returned to the house he had 
previously occupied. They lived in the second sto- 
ry, and there was a shed under their bed-room win- 
dow. Ben placed a ladder under the window, to be 
ready for escape ; but it was so short, that it did not 
reach the roof of the shed by five or six feet. His 
wife was an industrious, orderly woman, and kept 
their rooms as neat as a bee-hive. The only thing 
which marred their happiness was the continual 
dread that man-hunters might pounce upon them, in 
some unguarded hour, and separate them forever. 
About a fortnight after his arrest, they were sitting 
together in the dusk of the evening, when the door 
was suddenly burst open, and his master rushed in 
with a constable. Ben sprang out of the window, 
down the ladder, and made his escape. His master 


and the constable followed ; but as soon as they were 
on the ladder, Ben's wife cut the cord that held it, 
and they tumbled heels over head upon the shed. 
This bruised them some, and frightened them still 
more. They scrambled upon their feet, cursing at a 
round rate. 

Ben arrived safely at the house of Isaac T. Hop- 
per, who induced him to quit the city immediately, 
and go to sea. His first voyage was to the East In- 
dies. While he was gone, Friend Hopper negotiated 
with the master, who, finding there was little chance 
of regaining his slave, agreed to manumit him for 
one hundred and fifty dollars. As soon as Ben re- 
turned, he repaid from his wages the sum which had 
been advanced for his ransom. His wife's health 
was greatly impaired by the fear and anxiety she had 
endured on his account. She became a prey to me- 
lancholy, and never recovered her former cheerful- 


The person who assumed this name was called 
Notly, when he was a slave in Maryland. He was 
compelled to labor very hard, was scantily supplied 
with food and clothing, and lodged in a little ricketty 
hut, through which the cold winds of winter whistled 
freely. He was of a very religious turn of mind, and 
often, when alone in his little cabin at midnight, he 


prayed earnestly to God to release him from his suf- 

In the year 1800, he found a favorable opportuni- 
ty to escape from his unfeeling master, and made his 
way to Philadelphia, w"here he procured employment 
in a lumber-yard, under the name of John Smith. 
He was so diligent and faithful, that he soon gained 
the good-will and confidence of his employers. He 
married a worthy, industrious woman, with whom he 
lived happily. By their united earnings they were 
enabled to purchase a small house, where they en- 
joyed more comfort than many wealthy people, and 
were much respected by neighbors and acquain- 

Unfortunately, he confided his story to a colored 
man, who, for the sake of reward, informed his mas- 
ter where he was to be found. Accordingly, he came 
to Philadelphia, arrested him, and carried him before 
a magistrate. Having brought forward satisfactory 
evidence that he was a slave, an order was granted 
to carry him back to Maryland. Isaac T. Hopper 
was present at this decision, and was afflicted by it 
beyond measure. John's employers pitied his condi- 
tion, and sympathized with his afflicted wife and 
children. They offered to pay a large sum for his 
ransom ; but his savage master refused to release 
him on any terms. This sober, industrious man, 
guiltless of any crime, was hand-cuffed and had his 


arms tied behind him with a rope, to which another 
rope was appended, for his master to hold. While 
they were fastening his fetters, he spoke a few affec- 
tionate words to his weeping wife. "Take good 
care of the children," said he; "and don't let them 
forget their poor father. If you are industrious and 
frugal, I hope you will be enabled to keep them at 
school, till they are old enough to be placed at ser- 
vice in respectable families. Never allow them to 
be idle ; for that will lead them into bad ways. And 
now don't forget my advice ; for it is most likely you 
will never see me again." 

Then addressing his children, he said, " You will 
have no father to take care of you now. Mind what 
your mother tells you, and be very careful njet to do 
anything to grieve her. Be industrious and faithful 
in whatever you are set about; and never play in the 
streets with naughty children." 

They all wept bitterly while he thus talked to 
them ; but he restrained his sobs, though it was evi- 
dent his heart w r as well nigh breaking. Isaac T. 
Hopper was present at this distressing scene, and 
suffered almost as acutely as the poor slave himself. 
In the midst of his parting words, his master seized 
the rope, mounted his horse, snapped his whip, and 
set off, driving poor John before him. This was 
done in a Christian country, and there was no law to 
protect the victim. 


John was conveyed to Washington and offered for 
sale to speculators, who were buying up gangs for 
the Southern market. The sight of dejected and 
brutified slaves, chained together in coffles, was too 
common at the seat of our republican government to 
attract attention ; but the barbarity of John's master 
was so conspicuous, that even there he was rebuked 
for his excessive cruelty. These expressions of sym- 
pathy were quite unexpected to the poor slave, and 
they kindled a faint hope of escape, which had been 
smouldering in his breast. Manacled as he was, he 
contrived to trip up his master, and leaving him pros- 
trate on the ground, he ran for the woods. He was 
soon beyond the reach of his tyrant, and might have 
escaped easily if a company had not immediately 
formed to pursue him. They chased him from the 
shelter of the bushes to a swamp, where he was 
hunted like a fox, till night with friendly darkness 
overshadowed him. While his enemies were sleep- 
ing, he cautiously made his way by the light of the 
stars, to the house of an old acquaintance, who has- 
tened to take off his fetters, and give him a good 

Thus refreshed, he hastened to bid his colored 
friend farewell, and with fear and trembling set off 
for Philadelphia. He had several rivers to cross, and 
he thought likely men would be stationed on the 
bridges to arrest him. Therefore, he hid himself in 


the deepest recesses of the woods in the day-time, 
and travelled only in the night. He suffered much 
with hunger and fatigue, but arrived home at last, to 
the great astonishment and joy of his family. He 
well knew that these precious moments of affection- 
ate greeting were highly dangerous; for his own 
roof could afford no shelter from pursuers armed with 
I he power of a wicked law. He accordingly hasten- 
ed to Isaac T. Hopper for advice and assistance. 

The yellow fever was then raging in Philadelphia, 
and the children had all been carried into the country 
by their mother. Business made it necessary for 
Friend Hopper to be in the city during the day-time, 
and a colored domestic remained with him to take 
charge of the house. This woman was alone when 
the fugitive arrived ; but she showed him to an upper 
chamber secured by a strong fastening. He had 
been there but a short time, when his master came 
with two constables and proceeded to search the 
house. When they found a room with the door 
bolted, they demanded entrance ; and receiving no 
answer, they began to consult together how to gain 
admittance. At this crisis, the master of the house 
came home, and received information of what was 
going on up-stairs. He hastened thither, and or- 
dered the intruders to quit his house instantly. One 
of the constables said, "This gentleman's slave is 


here ; and if you don't deliver him up immediately, 
we will get a warrant to search the house." 

" Quit my premises," replied Friend Hopper. " The 
mayor dare not grant a warrant to search my house." 

The men withdrew in no very good humor, and a 
message soon came from the mayor requesting to 
see Isaac T. Hopper. He obeyed the summons, 
and the magistrate said to him, "This gentleman 
informs me that his slave is in your house. Is it 

The wary Friend replied, "Thou hast just told 
me that this man says he is. Dost thou not believe 

"But I wish to know from yourself whether he is 
in your house or not," rejoined the magistrate. 

"If the mayor reflects a little, I think he will see 
that he has no right to ask such a question; and 
that I am not bound to answer it," replied Friend 
Hopper. "If he is in my house, and if this man 
can prove it, I am liable to a heavy penalty ; and no 
man is bound to inform against himself. These 
people have not behaved so civilly, that I feel my- 
self under any especial obligations of courtesy to- 
ward them. Hast thou any further business with 

"Did you say I dared not grant a warrant to search 
your house ? " asked the mayor. 

He answered, "Indeed I did say so; and I now 


repeat it. I mean no disrespect to anybody in au- 
thority ; but neither thou nor any other magistrate 
would dare to grant a warrant to search my house. 
I am a man of established reputation. I am not a 
suspicious character." 

The mayor smiled, as he replied, "I don't know 
about that, Mr, Hopper. In the present case, I am 
inclined to think you are a very suspicious character." 
And so they parted. 

The master resorted to various stratagems to re- 
capture his victim. He dressed himself in Quaker 
costume and went to his house. The once happy 
home was desolate now; and the anxious wife sat 
weeping, with her little ones clinging to her in child- 
ish sympathy. The visitor professed to be very 
friendly to her husband, and desirous to ascertain 
where he could be found, in order to render him ad- 
vice and assistance in eluding the vigilance of his 
master. The wife prudently declined giving any in- 
formation, but referred him to Isaac T. Hopper, as 
the most suitable person to consult in the case. 
Finding that he could not gain his object by decep- 
tion, he forgot to sustain the quiet character he had 
assumed, but gave vent to his anger m a great deal 
of violent and profane language. He went off, final- 
ly, swearing that in spite of them all he would have 
his slave again, if he was to be found on the face of 
the earth. 


John Smith remained under the protection of 
Friend Isaac about a week. Spies were seen lurk- 
ing round the house for several days ; but they dis- 
appeared at last. Supposing this was only a trick 
to put them off their guard, a colored man was em- 
ployed to run out of the house after dark. The ene- 
mies who were lying in ambush, rushed out and laid 
violent hands upon him, They released him as soon 
as they discovered their mistake ; but the next day 
Friend Hopper had them arrested, and compelled 
them to enter into bonds for their good behavior. 
On the following evening the same man was employ- 
ed to run out again ; and this time he was not inter- 
rupted. The third evening, John Smith himself ven- 
tured forth from his hiding-place, and arrived safely 
in New-Jersey. 

He let himself to a worthy farmer, and soon gain- 
ed the confidence and good will of all the family. 
He ate at the same table with them, and sat with 
them on Sunday afternoons, listening to their read- 
ing of the Scriptures and other religious books. 
This system of equality did not diminish the modes- 
ty of his deportment, but rather tended to increase 
his habitual humility. 

He remained there several months, during which 
time he never dared to visit his family, though only 
eight miles distant from them. This was a great 
source of unhappiness; for he was naturally aflfec 


tionate, and was strongly attached to his wife and 
children. At length, he ventured to hire a small 
house in a very secluded situation, not far from the 
village of Iladdonfield: and once more he gathered 
Ins family around him. But his domestic comfort 
was constantly disturbed by fear of men-stealers. 
While at his work in the day-time, he sometimes 
started at the mere rustling of a leaf; and in the 
night time, he often woke up in agony from terrify- 
ing dreams. 

The false friend, who betrayed him to his cruel 
master, likewise suffered greatly from fear. When 
he heard that John had again escaped, he was ex- 
ceedingly alarmed for his own safety. He dreamed 
that his abused friend came with a knife in one hand 
and a torch in the other, threatening to murder him 
and burn the house. These ideas took such hold of 
his imagination, that he often started up in bed and 
screamed aloud. But John was too sincerely reli- 
gious to cherish a revengeful spirit. The wrong 
done to him was as great as one mortal could inflict 
upon another ; but he had learned the divine precept 
not to render evil for evil. 

The event proved that John's uneasiness was too 
well founded. A few months after his family re- 
joined him, Isaac T. Hopper heard that his master 
had arrived in Philadelphia, and was going to New- 
Jersey to arrest him. He immediately apprised him 


of his danger ; and the tidings were received with 
feelings of desperation amounting to phrensy. He 
loaded his gun and determined to defend himself 
Very early the next morning, he saw his master with 
two men coming up the narrow lane that led to his 
house. He stationed himself in the door-way, level- 
ed his gun, and called out, "I will shoot the first man 
that crosses that fence !" They were alarmed, and 
turned back to procure assistance. John seized that 
opportunity to quit his retreat. He hastened to 
Philadelphia, and informed Isaac T. Hopper what 
had happened. His friend represented to him the 
unchristian character of such violent measures, and 
advised him not to bring remorse on his soul by 
the shedding of blood. The poor hunted fugitive 
seemed to be convinced, though it was a hard lesson 
to learn in his circumstances. Again he resolved to 
fly for safety ; and his friend advised him to go to 
Boston. A vessel from that place was then lying in 
the Delaware, and the merchant who had charge of 
her, pitying his forlorn situation, offered him a pas- 
sage free of expense. Kindness bestowed on him 
was always like good seed dropped into a rich soil. 
He was so obliging and diligent during the voyage, 
that he more than compensated the captain for his 
passage. He arrived safely in Boston, where his 
certificates of good character soon enabled him to 
procure employment. Not long after, he sent for his 


wife, who sold what little property they had in Phil- 
adelphia, and took her children to their new home. 

When John left New-Jersey, he assumed the name 
of Thomas Cooper, by which he was ever afterward 
known. He had early in life manifested a religious 
turn of mind; and this w r as probably increased by 
his continual perils and narrow escapes. He mourn- 
ed over every indication of dishonesty, profanity, or 
dissipation, among people of his own color ; and this 
feeling grew upon him, until he felt as if it were a 
duty to devote his life to missionary labors. He be- 
came a popular preacher among the Methodists, and 
visited some of the West India Islands in that capa- 
city. His christian example and fervid exhorta- 
tions, warm from the heart, are said to have produc- 
ed a powerful effect on his untutored hearers. After 
his return, he concluded to go to Africa as a mission- 
ary. For that purpose, he took shipping with his 
family for London, w^here he was received with much 
kindness by many persons to whom he took letters 
of introduction. His children were placed at a good 
school by a benevolent member of the Society of 
Friends; and from various quarters he received the 
most gratifying testimonials of respect and sympa- 
thy. But what was of more value than all else to 
the poor harassed, fugitive, was the fact that he now, 
for the first time in his life, felt entirely safe from 
the fangs of the oppressor. 


He remained in London about a year and a half. 
During that time he compiled a hymn book which 
his friends published with his portrait in front. He 
preached with great acceptance to large congrega- 
tions : several thousand persons assembled to hear 
his farewell sermon on the eve of his departure for 
Africa. He sailed for Sierra Leone, in the latter 
part of 1818, and w r as greeted there with much cor- 
diality ; for his fame had preceded him. All classes 
flocked to hear him preach, and his labors were high- 
ly useful. After several years spent in the discharge, 
of religious duties, he died of the fever which so of- 
ten proves fatal to strangers in Africa. His wife 
returned with her children to end her days in Phila- 


In the year 1801, a Captain Dana engaged pas- 
sage in a Philadelphia schooner bound to Charleston, 
South Carolina. The day he expected to sail, he 
called at the house of a colored woman, and told her 
he had a good suit of clothes, too small for his own 
son, but about the right size for her little boy. He 
proposed to take the child home to try the garments, 
and if they fitted him he would make him a present 
of them. The mother was much gratified by these 
friendly professions, and dressed the boy up as well 
as she could to accompany the captain, who gave 


him a piece of gingerbread, took him by the hand, 

.-Hid led him. away. Instead of going- to his lodgings, 

he had promised, he proceeded directly to the 

ooner, and Left the boy in care of the captain: 

ring that he himself would come on board while 
the vessel w us on the way down the river. As they 
were about to sail, a sudden storm came on. The 
wind raged so violently, that the ship dragged her 
anchor, and they were obliged to haul to at a wharf 
in the district of Southwark. A respectable man, 
who lived in the neighborhood, was standing on the 
wharf at the time, and hearing a child crying very 
bitterly on board the vessel, he asked the colored 
cook whose child that was, and why he was in such 
distress. He replied that a passenger by the name 
of Dana brought him on board, and that the boy said 
he stole him from his mother. 

A note was immediately despatched to Isaac T. 
Hopper, who, being away from home, did not receive 
it till ten o'clock at night. The moment he read it, 
he called for a constable, and proceeded directly to 
the schooner. In answer to his inquiries, the cap- 
tain declared that all the hands had gone on shore, 
and that he was entirely alone in the vessel. Friend 
I Topper called for a light, and asked him to open the 
forecastle, that they might ascertain whether any 
person were there. He peremptorily refused ; say- 
ing that his word ought to be sufficient to satisfy 


them. Friend Hopper took up an axe that was lying 
on the deck, and declared that he would break the 
door, unless it was opened immediately. In this 
dilemma, the captain, with great reluctance, unlock- 
ed the forecastle ; and there they found the cook and 
the boy. The constable took them all in custody, 
and they proceeded to the mayor's. The rain fell in 
torrents, and It was extremely dark; for in those 
days, there were no lamps in that part of the city. 
They went stumbling over cellar doors, and wading 
through gutters, till they arrived in Front street, 
where Mr. Inskeep, the mayor, lived. It was past 
midnight, but when a servant informed him that Isaac 
T. Hopper had been ringing at the door, and wished 
to see him, he ordered him to be shown up into his 
chamber. After apologizing for the unseasonable- 
ness of the hour, he briefly stated the urgency of the 
case, and asked for a verbal order to put the captain 
and cook in prison to await their trial the next morn- 
ing. The magistrate replied, "It is a matter of too 
much importance to be disposed of in that way. I 
will come down and hear the case." A large hicko- 
ry log, which had been covered with ashes in the 
parlor fire-place, was raked open, and they soon had 
a blazing fire to dry their wet garments, and take 
off the chill of a cold March storm. The magistrate 
was surprised to find that the captain was an old ac- 
quaintance ; and he expressed much regret at meet- 


ing him under such unpleasant circumstances. Af- 
ter some investigation into the affair, he was required 
to appear for trial the next morning, under penalty 
of forfeiting three thousand dollars. The cook was 
committed to prison, as a witness; and the colored 
boy was sent home with Isaac T. Hopper, who 
agreed to produce him at the time appointed. 

Very early the next morning, he sent a messenger 
to inform the mother that her child was in safety ; 
but she was off in search of him, and was not to be 
found. On the way to the mayor's office, they met 
her in the street, half distracted. As soon as she 
perceived her child, she cried out, "My son! My. 
son !" threw her arms round him, and sobbed aloud. 
She kissed him again and again, saying, "Oh my 
child, I thought I had lost you forever." 

When they all arrived at the mayor's office, at the 
hour appointed for trial, the captain protested that 
he had no knowledge of anything wrong in the busi- 
ness, having merely taken care of the boy at the re 
quest of a passenger. When he was required to ap- 
pear at the next court to answer to the charge of 
kidnapping, he became alarmed, and told where Cap- 
tain Dana could be arrested. His directions were 
followed, and the delinquent was seized and taken to 
Isaac T. Hopper's house. He was in a towering 
passion, protesting his innocence, and threatening * 
vengeance against everybody who should attempt to 


detain him. Badly as Friend Hopper thought of the 
man, he almost wished he had escaped, when he dis- 
covered that he had a wife and children to suffer for 
his misdoings. His tender heart would not allow 
him to be present at the trial, lest his wife should be 
there in distress. She did not appear, however, and 
Captain Dana made a full confession, alleging pov- 
erty as an excuse. He was an educated man, and 
had previously sustained a fair reputation. He was 
liberated on bail for fifteen hundred dollars, which 
was forfeited ; but the judgments were never enforc- 
ed against his securities. 


Wagelma was a lively intelligent colored boy of 
ten years old, whom his mother had bound as an ap- 
prentice to a Frenchman in Philadelphia. This man 
being about to take his family to Baltimore, in the 
summer of 1801, with the intention of going thence 
to France, put his apprentice on board a Newcastle 
packet bound to Baltimore, without having the con- 
sent of the boy or his mother, as the laws of Penn- 
sylvania required. The mother did not even know 
of his intended departure, till she heard that her 
child was on board the ship. Fears that he might be 
sold into slavery, either in Baltimore or the West In- 
dies, seized upon her mind ; and even if that dread- 


ful fate did not await him, there was great probabili- 
ty that she would never see him again. 

In her distress she called upon Isaac T. Hopper, 
immediately after sunrise. He hastened to the 
wharf, where the Newcastle packet generally lay, 
but had the mortification to find that she had already 
started, and that a gentle breeze was wafting her 
down the stream. He mounted a fleet horse, and in 
twenty minutes arrived at Gloucester Point, three 
miles below the city. The ferry at that place was 
kept by a highly respectable widow, with whom he 
had been long acquainted. He briefly stated the 
case to her, and she at once ordered one of her ferry- 
men to put him on board the Newcastle packet, which 
was in sight, and near the Jersey shore. They made 
all speed, for there was not a moment to lose. 

When they came along-side the packet, the cap- 
tain, supposing him to be a passenger for Baltimore, 
ordered the sailors to assist him on board. When 
his business was made known, he was told that the 
Frenchman was in the cabin. He sought him out, 
and stated that the laws of Pennsylvania did not al- 
low apprentices to be carried out of the state without 
certain preliminaries, to which he had not attended. 
The Frenchman had six or eight friends with him, 
and as he was going out of the country, he put the 
laws at defiance. Meanwhile, the vessel was gliding 
down the river, carrying friend Hopper to Newcas- 


tie. He summoned the captain, and requested him 
to put the colored boy into the ferry-boat, which was 
alongside ready to receive him. He was not dispos- 
ed to interfere; but when Friend Hopper drew a 
volume from his pocket and read to him the laws ap- 
plicable to the case, he became alarmed, and said 
the boy must be given up. Whereupon, Friend 
Hopper directed the child to go on deck, which he 
was ready enough to do; and the ferryman soon 
helped him on board the boat. 

The Frenchman and his friends were very noisy 
and violent. They attempted to throw Friend Hop- 
per overboard; and there were so many of them, 
that they seemed likely to succeed in their efforts. 
But he seized one of them fast by the coat ; resolved 
to have company in the water, if he were compelled 
to take a plunge. They struck his hand with their 
canes, and pulled the coat from his grasp. Then he 
seized hold of another ; and so the struggle continu- 
ed for some minutes. The ferryman, who was watch- 
ing the conflict, contrived to bring his boat into a fa- 
vorable position ; and Friend Hopper suddenly let go 
the Frenchman's coat, and tumbled in. 

When he returned to Philadelphia with the boy, 
he found the mother waiting at his house, in a state 
of intense anxiety. The meeting between mother 
and son was joyful indeed ; and Wagelma made them 
all laugh by his animated description of his friend's 

i.iii; OP ISAAC T. HOPPER. 73 

encounter with the Frenchmen, accompanied by a 
lively imitation of their gesticulations. In witness- 
ing the happiness he had imparted, their benefactor 
found more than sufficient compensation for all the 
difficulties he had encountered. 


Slavery having been abolished by a gradual pro- 
is m Pennsylvania, there were many individuals 
who still remained in bondage at the period of which 
I write. Among them was James Poovey, slave to 
a blacksmith in Pennsylvania. lie had learned his 
master's trade, and being an athletic man, was very 
valuable. During several winters, he attended an 
ning school for the free instruction of colored 
people. II* made very slow progress in learning, 
but by means of unremitting industry and applica- 
tion, he was at last able to accomplish the desire of 
his heart, which was to read the New Testament for 

The fact that colored men born a few years later 
than himself were free, by the act of gradual eman- 
cipation, while he was compelled to remain in bon- 
dage, had long been a source of uneasiness; and in- 
crease of knowledge by no means increased his con- 
tentment. Having come to the conclusion that 
slavery was utterly unjust, he resolved not to submit 
to it anv longer. In the year 1802. when he was 


about thirty-three years of age, he took occasion to 
inform his master that he could read the New Tes- 
tament. When he observed that he was glad to hear 
it, James replied, "But in the course of my reading 
I have discovered that it would be a sin for me to 
serve you as a slave any longer". 

"Aye?" said his master. "Pray tell me how you 
made that discovery." 

"Why, the New Testament says we must do as 
we would be done by," replied James. "Now if I 
submit to let you do by ?ne, as you would not be 
willing I should do by you, I am as bad as you are. 
If you will give me a paper that will secure my free- 
dom at the end of seven years, I will serve you 
faithfully during that time ; but I cannot consent to 
be a slave any longer." 

His master refused to consent to this proposition. 
James then asked permission to go to sea till he 
could earn money enough to buy his freedom ; but 
this proposal was likewise promptly rejected. 

"You will get nothing by trying to keep me in 
slavery," said James; "for I am determined to be 
free. I shall never make you another offer." 

He walked off, and his master applied for a warrant 
to arrest him, and commit him to prison, as a disobe- 
dient and refractory slave. When he had been in jail 
a month, he called to see him, and inquired whether 
he were ready to return home and go to work. 


"I am at home," replied James. "I expect to 
end my days here. I never will serve you again as 
a slave, or pay you one single cent. What do you 
come here for? There is no use in your coming." 

The master was greatly provoked by this conduct, 
and requested the inspectors to have him put in the 
cells and kept on short allowance, till he learned to 
submit. Isaac T. Hopper was one of the board; and 
as the question was concerning a colored man, they 
referred it to him. Accordingly, the blacksmith 
sought an interview with him, and said, "Jim has 
been a faithful industrious fellow ; but of late he has 
taken it into his head that he ought to be free. He 
strolled off and refused to work, and I had him put 
m prison. When I called to see him he insulted me 
grossly, and positively refused to return to his busi- 
ness. I have been referred to you to obtain an order 
to confine him to the cells on short allowance, till he 

Friend Hopper replied, "I have been long ac- 
quainted with Jim. I was one of his teachers ; and 
I have often admired his punctuality in attending 
school, and his patient industry in trying to learn." 

"It has done him no good to learn to read," re- 
joined the master. "On the contrary, it has made 
him worse." 

"It has made him wiser," replied Isaac; "but I 
think it has not made him worse. I have scruples 


about ordering him to be punished; for he professes 
to be conscientious about submitting to serve as a 
slave. I have myself suffered because I could not 
conscientiously comply with military requisitions. 
The Society of Friends have suffered much in Eng- 
land on account of ecclesiastical demands. I have 
thus some cause to know how hateful are persecu- 
tors, in the sight of God and of men. I cannot 
therefore be active in persecuting James, or any 
other man, on account of conscientious scruples." 

"It is your duty to have him punished," rejoined 
the blacksmith. 

"I am the best judge of that," answered Friend 
Hopper; "and I do not feel justified in compelling 
him to submit to slavery." 

The blacksmith was greatly exasperated, and went 
off, saying, "I hope to mercy your daughter will 
marry a negro." 

At the expiration of the term of imprisonment 
allowed by law, James still refused to return to ser- 
vice, and he was committed for another thirty days. 
His master called to see him again, and told him if 
he would return home, and behave well, he should 
have a new suit of clothes and a Methodist hat. "I 
don't want your new clothes, nor your Methodist 
hat," replied James. "I tell you I never will serve 
you nor any other man as a slave. I had rather end 
my days in jail." 


His master finding him so intractable, gave up the 
case as hopeless. When his second term of impri- 
sonment expired, he was discharged, and no one 
attempted to molest him. He earned a comfortable 
living, and looked happy and respectable ; but his 
personal appearance was not improved by leaving his 
beard un shaved. One day, when Friend Hopper 
met him in the street, he said, "Jim, why dost thou 
wear that long beard ? It looks very ugly." 

"I suppose it does," he replied, "but I wear it as 
a* memorial of the Lord's goodness in setting me 
free ; for it was Him that done it." 


A Frenchman by the name of Anthony Salignac 
removed from St. Domingo to New- Jersey, and 
brought with him several slaves ; among whom was 
Romaine. After remaining in New-Jersey several 
years, he concluded in 1802, to send Romaine and 
his wife and child back to the West Indies. Finding 
him extremely reluctant to go, he put them in prison 
some days previous, lest they should make an at- 
tempt to escape. From prison they were put into a 
carriage to be conveyed to Newcastle, under the 
custody of a Frenchman and a constable. They 
started from Trenton late in the evening, and arrived 
in Philadelphia about four o'clock in the morning. 
People at the inn where they stopped remarked that 


Romaine and his wife appeared deeply dejected. 
When food was offered they refused to eat. His 
wife made some excuse to go out, and though sought 
for immediately after, she was not to be found. Ro- 
maine was ordered to get into the carriage. The 
Frenchman was on one side of him and the consta- 
ble on the other. "Must I go?" cried he, in accents 
of despair. They told him he must. "And alone?" 
said he. "Yes, you must," was the stern reply. 
The carriage was open to receive him, and they 
would have pushed him in, but he suddenly took a 
pruning knife from his pocket, and drew it three 
times across his throat with such force that it severed 
the jugular vein instantly, and he fell dead on the 

As the party had travelled all night, seemed in 
great haste, and watched their colored companions 
so closely some persons belonging to the prison 
where they stopped suspected they might have nefa- 
rious business on hand ; accordingly, a message was 
sent to Isaac T. Hopper, as the man most likely to 
right all the wrongs of the oppressed. He obeyed 
the summons immediately ; but when he arrived, he 
found the body of poor Romaine weltering in blood 
on the pavement. 

Speaking of this scene forty years later, he said, 
" My whole soul was filled with horror, as I stood 
viewing the corpse. Reflecting on that awful spec- 


tacle, I exclaimed within myself, How long, O Lord, 
how long shall this abominable system of slavery be 
permitted to curse the land ! My mind was introdu- 
ced into sympathy with the sufferer. I thought of 
the agony he must have endured before he could have 
resolved upon that desperate deed. He knew what 
he had to expect, from what he had experienced in 
the West Indies before, and he was determined not 
to submit to the same misery and degradation again. 
By his sufferings he was driven to desperation ; and 
he preferred launching into the unknown regions of 
eternity to an endurance of slavery. 

An inquest was summoned, and after a brief con- 
sultation, the coroner brought in the following ver- 
dict : " Suicide occasioned by the dread of slavery, 
to which the deceased knew himself devoted." 

Romaine and his wife were very good looking. 
They gave indications of considerable intelligence, 
and had the character of having been very faithful 
servants. His violent death produced a good deal of 
excitement among the people generally, and much 
sympathy was manifested for the wife and child, who 
had escaped. 

The master had procured a certificate from the 
mayor of Trenton authorizing him to remove his 
slaves to the West Indies; but the jury of inquest, 
and many others, were of opinion that his proceed- 
ings were not fully sanctioned by law. Accordingly, 


Friend Hopper, and two other members of the Abo- 
lition Society, caused him to be arrested and brought 
before a magistrate ; not so much with the view of 
punishing him, as with the hope of procuring manu- 
mission for the wife and child. In the course of the 
investigation, the friends of the Frenchman were 
somewhat violent in his defence. Upon one occa- 
sion, several of them took Friend Hopper up and put 
him out of the house by main force; while at the 
same time they let their friend out of a back door to 
avoid him. However, Friend Flopper met him a few 
minutes after in the street and seized him by the hut- 
Ion. Alarmed by the popular excitement, and by 
the perseverance with which he was followed up, he 
exclaimed in agitated tones, "Mon Dieu ! What is 
it you do want? I will do anything you do want." 

I want thee to bestow freedom on that unfortunate 
woman and her child," replied Friend Hopper. 

He promised that he would do so; and he soon 
after made out papers to that effect, which were 
duly recorded. 


In July, 1802, a man by the name of David Lea, 
went to Philadelphia to hunt up runaway slaves for 
their Southern masters. A few days after his arri- 
val, he arrested a colored man, whom lie claimed as 
the property of Nathan Peacock of Maryland. The 


man had lived several years in Philadelphia, had 
taken a lot of ground in the Northern Liberties, and 
erected a small house on it. 

In the course of the investigation, the poor fellow, 
seeing no chance of escape, acknowledged that he 
was Mr. Peacock's slave, and had run away from 
him because he wanted to be free. His friends, 
being unwilling to see him torn from his wife and 
children, made an effort to purchase his freedom. 
After much intreaty, the master named a very large 
sum as his ransom ; and the slave was committed to 
prison until the affair was settled. 

David Lea was a filthy looking man, apparently 
addicted to intemperance. Friend Hopper asked 
him if he had any business in Philadelphia. He 
answered, "No." He inquired whether he had any 
money, and he answered, "No" Friend Hopper 
then said to the magistrate, "Here is a stranger 
without money, who admits that he has no regular 
means of obtaining a livelihood. Judging from his 
appearance, there is reason to conclude that he 
may be a dangerous man. I would suggest whether 
it be proper that he should be permitted to go at 

The magistrate interrogated the suspicious look- 
ing stranger concerning his business in Philadelphia; 
and he, being ashamed to acknowledge himself a 

slave-catcher, returned very evasive and unsatis- 



factory answers. He was accordingly committed 
to prison, to answer at the next court of Sessions. 
It was customary to examine prisoners before they 
were locked up, and take whatever was in their 
pockets, to be restored to them whenever they were 
discharged. David Lea strongly objected to this 
proceeding ; and when they searched him they found 
more than fifty advertisements for runaway slaves ; 
a fact which made the nature of his business suf- 
ficiently obvious. Friend Hopper, had a serious 
conversation with him in prison, during which he 
stated that he was to have received forty-five dollars 
for restoring the slave to his master. Friend Hop- 
per told him if he would give an order upon Mr. 
Peacock for that amount, to go toward buying the 
slave's freedom, he should be released from con- 
finement, on condition of leaving the city forthwith. 
He agreed to do so, and the money was paid. But 
the slave was found to be in debt more than his 
small house was worth, and the price for his ransom 
w T as so exorbitantly high, that it was impossible to 
raise it. Under these circumstances, Friend Hop- 
per thought it right to return the forty-five dollars to 
David Lea ; but he declined receiving it. He would 
take only three dollars, to defray his expenses home ; 
and gave the following written document concerning 
the remainder : "I request Isaac T. Hopper to pay 
the money received from the order, which I gave 


him upon Nathan Peacock, to the managers of the 
Pennsylvania Hospital, or to any other charitable 
institution he may judge proper. His 

David x Lea. 


He was discharged from prison, and the money 
paid to the Pennsylvania Hospital. Next year, the 
following item was published in their accounts : 
" Received of David Lea, a noted negro-catcher, by 
the hands of Isaac T. Hopper, forty-two dollars; he 
having received forty-five dollars for taking up a 
runaway slave, of which he afterward repented, and 
directed the sum to be paid to the Pennsylvania 
Hospital, after deducting three dollars to pay his 
expenses home." 

The slave was carried back to the South, but 
escaped again. After encountering many difficulties, 
he was at last bought for a sum so small, that it was 
merely nominal ; and he afterward lived in Phila- 
delphia unmolested. 


It was a common thing for speculators in slaves 
to purchase runaways for much less than their origi- 
nal value, and take the risk of not being able to 
catch them. In the language of the trade, this was 
called buying them running. In April, 1802, Joseph 
Ennells and Captain Frazer, of Maryland, dealers 
in slaves, purchased a number in this way, and came 


to Philadelphia in search of them. There ihey 
arrested, and claimed as their property, William 
Bachelor, a free colored man, about sixty years 
old. A colored man, whom the slave-dealers brought 
with them, swore before a magistrate that William 
Bachelor once belonged to a gang of slaves, of which 
he was overseer; that he had changed his name, but 
he knew him perfectly well. William affirmed in 
the most earnest manner, that he was a free man ; 
but Mr. Ennells and Captain Frazer appeared to be 
such respectable men, and the colored witness swore 
so positively, that the magistrate granted a certificate 
authorizing them to take him to Maryland. 

As they left the office, they were met by Dr. Kin- 
ley, who knew William Bachelor well, and had a 
great regard for him. Finding that his protestations 
had no effect with the Marylanders, he rein with all 
speed to Isaac T. Hopper, and entering his door 
almost out of breath, exclaimed, "They've got old 
William Bachelor, and are taking him to the South, 
as a slave. I know him to be a free man. Many 
years ago, he was a slave to my father, and he 
manumitted him. He used to carry me in his arms 
when I was an infant. He was a most faithful 

Friend Hopper inquired which way the party had 
gone, and was informed that they went toward 
"Gray's Ferry." He immediately started in pursuit, 


and overlook them half a mile from the Schuyl- 
kill. He accosted Mr. Ennells politely, and told 
him he had made a mistake in capturing William 
Bachelor; for he was a free man. Ennells drew a 
pistol from his pocket, and said, "We have had 
him before a magistrate, and proved to his satis- 
faction that the fellow is my slave. I have got his 
certificate, and that is all that is required to au- 
thorize me to take him home. I will blow your 
brains out if you say another word on the subject, 
or make any attempt to molest me." 

"If thou wert not a coward, thou wouldst not try 
to intimidate me with a pistol," replied Isaac. "I 
do not believe thou hast the least intention of using 
it in any other way; but thou art much agitated, 
and may lire it accidentally ; therefore I request 
thee not to point it toward me, but to turn it the 
other way. It is in vain for thee to think of taking 
this old man to Maryland. If thou wilt not return 
to the city voluntarily, I will certainly have thee 
stopped at the bridge, where thou wilt be likely to 
be handled much more roughly than I am disposed 
to do." 

While this controversy was going on, poor William 
Bachelor was in the greatest anxiety of mind. " Oh, 
Master Hopper," he exclaimed, " Don't let them take 
me ! I am not a slave. All the people in Philadel- 


phia know T am a free man. I never was in Mary- 
land in my life." 

Ennells, hearing the name, said, "So your name 
is Hopper, is it ? I have heard of you. It's time 
the world was rid of you. You have done too much 
mischief already." 

When Friend Hopper inquired what mischief he 
had done, he replied, "You have robbed many people 
of their slaves." 

"Thou art mistaken," rejoined the Quaker. "I 
only prevent Southern marauders from robbing peo- 
ple of their liberty." 

After much altercation, it was agreed to return to 
the city ; and William was again brought before the 
alderman, who had so hastily surrendered him. Dr. 
Kinley, and so many other respectable citizens, 
attended as witnesses, that even Ennells himself 
was convinced that his captive was a free man. 
He was accordingly set at liberty. It was, how- 
ever, generally believed that Mr. Ennells knew he 
was not a slave when he arrested him. It was 
therefore concluded to prosecute him for attempting 
to take forcibly a free man out of the state and carry 
him into slavery. 

When Friend Hopper went to his lodgings with 
a warrant and two constables, for this purpose, he 
found him writing, with a pistol on each side of him. 
The moment they entered, he seized a pistol and 


ordered them to withdraw, or he would shoot them. 
Friend Hopper replied, "These men are officers, and 
have a warrant to arrest thee for attempting to carry 
off a free man into slavery. I advise thee to lay 
down thy pistol and go with us. If not, a sufficient 
force will soon be brought to compel thee. Remem- 
ber thou art in the heart of Philadelphia. It is both 
foolish and imprudent to attempt to resist the law. 
A pistol is a very unnecessary article here, whatever 
it may be elsewhere. According to appearances, 
thou dost not attempt to use it for any other purpose 
than to frighten people ; and thou hast not succeed- 
ed in doing that." 

Rage could do nothing in the presence of such 
imperturbable calmness; and Ennells consented to 
go with them to the magistrate. On the way, he 
quarrelled with one of the constables, and gave him 
a severe blow on the face with his cane. The officer 
knocked him down, and would have repeated the 
blow, if Friend Hopper had not interfered. Assisting 
Ennells to rise, he said, "Thou hadst better take 
my arm and walk with me. I think we can agree 

When the transaction had been investigated before 
a magistrate, Mr. Ennells was bound over to appear 
at the next mayor's court and answer to the charge 
against him. The proprietor of the hotel where he 
lodged became his bail. Meanwhile, numerous let- 


ters came from people of the first respectability in 
Maryland and Virginia, testifying to his good charac- 
ter. His lawyer showed these letters to Friend 
Hopper, and proposed that the prosecution should 
be abandoned. He replied that he had no authority 
to act in the matter himself; but he knew the Abo- 
lition Society had commenced the prosecution from 
no vindictive feelings, but merely with the view of 
teaching people to be careful how they infringed on 
the rights of free men. The committee of that 
society met the same evening, and agreed to dismiss 
the suit, Mr. Ennells paying the costs; to which lie 
readily assented. 


Levin was a slave in Maryland. He married a 
free woman and had several children. In 1802, his 
master sold him to a speculator, who was in the 
habit of buying slaves for the Southern market. 
His purchaser took him to his farm in Delaware, 
and kept him at work till he could get a profitable 
chance to sell him. His new master was a despe- 
rate fellow, and Levin was uneasy with the constant 
liability of being sold to the far South. He opened 
his heart to a neighbor, who advised him to escape, 
and gave him a letter to Isaac T. Hopper. His w T ife 
and children had removed to Philadelphia, and there 
he rejoined them. She took in washing, and he sup- 


ported himself by sawing wood. He had been there 
little more than a month, when his master heard 
where he was, and bargained with the captain of a small 
sloop to catch him and bring him back to Delaware. 

The plan was to seize Levin in his bed, hurry him 
on hoard the sloop, and start off immediately, before 
his family could have time to give the alarm. They 
would probably have succeeded in this project, if the 
captain had not drank a little too freely the evening 
previous, and so forgotten to get some goods on 
hoard, as he had. promised. Levin was seized and 
carried off; but the sloop was obliged to wait for the 

ods, and in the meantime messengers were sent to 
Isaac T. Hopper, lie was in bed, but sprang up 
the instant he heard a violent knocking at the door. 
In his haste, he thrust on an old rough coat and hat, 
which he was accustomed to wear to fires; for, in 
addition to his various other employments, he be- 
longed to a fire-company. He hurried to the scene 
of action as quickly as possible, and found that the 
slave had been conveyed to a small tavern near the 
wharf where the sloop lay. When the landlord was 
questioned where the men were who had him in 
custody, he refused to give any information. But 
there w T as a crowd of men and boys ; and one # of 
ihcrn said, "They are up-stairs in the back room." 
The landlord stood in the door-way, and tried to pre- 
vent Friend Hopper from passing in ; but he pushed 


him aside, and went up to the chamber, where he 
"found Levin with his hands tied, and guarded by five 
or six men. "What are you going to do with this 
man ?" said he. The words were scarcely out of his 
mouth, before they seized him violently and pitched 
him out of the chamber window. He fell upon 
empty casks, and his mind was so excited, that he 
was not aware of being hurt. There was no time 
to be lost ; for unless there was an immediate res- 
cue, the man would be forced on board the sloop and 
carried off. As soon as he could get upon his feet, 
he went round again to the front door and ascended 
the stairs ; but the door of the chamber was locked. 
He then returned to the back yard, mounted upon 
the pent-house, by means of a high board fence, and 
clambered into the window of a chamber, that open- 
ed into the room where the slave was. He entered 
with an open penknife in his hand, exclaiming, " Let 
us see if you will get me out so soon again !" Speak- 
ing thus, he instantly cut the cords that bound the 
slave, and called out, " Follow me !" He rushed 
down stairs as fast as he could go, and the slave af- 
ter him. The guard were utterly astonished at see- 
ing the man return, whom they had just tossed out 
of an upper window, and the whole thing was done 
so suddenly, that Friend Hopper and the liberated 
captive were in the street before they had time to 
recover their wits. 


A rowdy looking crowd of men and boys followed 
the fugitive and his protector, shouting, "Stop thief! 
Slop thief!" until they came to the office of a justice 
of the peace, half a mile from where they started. 
The astonished magistrate exclaimed, " Good hea- 
vens, Mr. Hopper, what brings you here this time of 
the morning, in such a trim, and with such a rabble 
at your heels !" When the circumstances were 
briefly explained, he laughed heartily, and said, "I 
don't think they would have treated you so roughly, 
if they had known who you were." He was inform- 
ed that Levin was a slave in Maryland, but had been 
living in Delaware with a man who bought him, and 
had thus become legally free. Measures were taken 
to protect him from further aggression, and he was 
never after molested. 

Friend Hopper went home to a late breakfast ; and 
when he attempted to rise from the table, he was 
seized with violent pains in the back, in consequence 
of his fall. He never after entirely recovered from 
the effects of it. 


This man was a slave to a Frenchman of the same 
name, in the Island of Guadaloupe. In considera- 
tion of faithful services, his master gave him his free- 
dom, and he opened a barber's shop on his own ac- 
count. Some time after, he was appointed an officer 


in the French army, against Victor Hughes. He 
had command of a fort, and remained in the army 
until the close of the war. After that period, there 
were symptoms of insurrection among the colored 
people, because the French government revoked the 
decree abolishing slavery in their West India Islands. 
Etienne was a man of talent, and had acquired con- 
siderable influence, particularly among people of his 
own color. He exerted this influence on the side of 
mercy, and was the means of saving the lives of 
several white people who had rendered themselves 
obnoxious by their efforts to restore slavery. 

Affairs were so unsettled in Guadaloupe, that Eti- 
enne determined to seek refuge in the United States ; 
and an old friend of his master procured a passport 
for him. A man by the name of Anslong, then at 
Guadaloupe, had two slaves, whom he was about to 
send to the care of Dennis Cottineau, of Philadel- 
phia, with directions to place them on a farm he 
owned, near Princeton, New-Jersey. When it was 
proposed that Etienne should take passage in the 
same vessel, Anslong manifested much interest in 
his behalf. He promised that he should have his 
passage free, for services that he might render on 
board ; and he took charge of his passport, saying 
that he would give it to the captain for safe keeping. 

When the vessel arrived at Philadelphia, in March, 
1S03, Etienne was astonished to find that Anslong 


had paid his passage, and claimed him as his slave. 
Dennis Cottineau showed the receipts for the pas- 
sage money, and written directions to forward the 
three Blares to New-Jersey. In this dilemma, he 
asked counsel of a colored man, whom he had for- 
merly known in Guadaloupe; and he immediately 
conducted him to Isaac T. Hopper. He related the 
particulars of his case very circumstantially, and the 
two colored men, who were really the slaves of Ans- 
long, confirmed his statement. When Friend Hop- 
per had cautiously examined them, and cross-exam- 
ined them, he became perfectly satisfied that Etienne 
whs free. He advised him not to leave the city, and 
told him to let him know in case Dennis Cottineau 
attempted to compel him to do so. He accordingly 
waited upon that gentleman and told him he had re- 
solved not to submit to his orders to go to New-Jer- 
sey. Whereupon Cottineau took possession of his 
trunk, containing his papers and clothing, and caused 
him to be committed to prison. 

A writ of habeas corpus was procured, and the 
case was brought before Judge Inskeep, of the Court 
of Common Pleas. It w T as found to be involved in 
considerable difficulty. For while several witnesses 
swore that they knew Etienne in Guadaloupe, as. a 
free man, in business for himself, others testified that 
they had known him as the slave of Anslong. It 
was finally referred to the Supreme Court, and Eti- 


enne was detained in prison several months to await 
his trial. Eminent counsel were employed on both 
sides; Jared Ingersoll for the claimant, and Joseph 
Hopkinson for the defendant. A certificate was pro- 
duced from the municipality of Guadaloupe, show- 
ing that Etienne had been an officer in the French 
army for several years, and had filled the station in 
a manner to command respect. The National De- 
cree abolishing slavery in that Island was also read ; 
but Mr. Ingersoll contended that when the decree 
was revoked, Etienne again became a slave. In his 
charge, Judge Shippen said that the evidence for and 
against freedom was about equally balanced ; and in 
that case, it was always a duty to decide in favor of 
liberty. The jury accordingly brought in a unani- 
mous verdict that Etienne was free. The court or- 
dered him to refund the twenty dollars, which Anslong 
had paid for his passage ; and he was discharged. 

He was a dark mulatto, tall, well-proportioned, 
and stylish-looking. His handsome countenance had 
a remarkably bright, frank expression, and there was 
a degree of courteous dignity in his manner, proba- 
bly acquired by companionship with military officers. 
But he belonged to a caste which society has forbid- 
den to develop the faculties bestowed by nature. 
Such a man might have performed some higher use 
than cutting hair, if he had lived in a wisely organiz- 
ed state of society. However, he made the best of 


such advantages as he had. He opened a barber's 
shop in Philadelphia, and attracted many of the most 
highly respectable citizens by his perfect politeness 
and punctuality. The colored people had various 
benevolent societies in that city, for the relief of the 
poor, the sick, and the aged, of their own complex- 
ion. Etienne Lamaire was appointed treasurer of 
several of these societies, and discharged his trust 
with scrupulous integrity. 

Isaac T. Hopper had been very active and vigi- 
lant in assisting him to regain his freedom ; and af- 
terward, when he became involved in some difficulty 
on account of stolen goods left on his premises with- 
out his knowledge, he readily became bail for him. 
His confidence had not been misplaced ; for when 
the affair had been fully investigated, the recorder 
declared that Mr. Lamaire had acted like an honest 
and prudent man, throughout the whole transaction. 

His gratitude to Friend Hopper was unbounded, 
and he missed no opportunity to manifest it. To 
the day of his death, some fourteen or fifteen years 
ago, he never would charge a cent for shaving, or 
cutting the hair of any of the family, children, or 
grand-children; and on New Year's day, he fre- 
quently sent a box of figs, or raisins, or bon-bons, in 
token of grateful remembrance. 



Samuel Johnson was a free colored man in the 
state of Delaware. He married a woman who was 
slave to George Black. They had several children, 
and when they became old enough to be of some 
value as property, their parents were continually 
anxious lest Mr. Black should sell them to some 
Georgia speculator, to relieve himself from pecunia- 
ry embarrassment; an expedient which" was very of- 
ten resorted to under such circumstances. When 
Johnson visited his wife, they often talked together 
on the subject ; and at last they concluded to escape 
to a free state. They went to Philadelphia and 
hired a small house. He sawed wood, and she took 
in washing. Being industrious and frugal, they 
managed to live very comfortably, except the con- 
tinual dread of being discovered. 

In December, 1804, when they had been thus 
situated about two years, her master obtained some 
tidings of them, and immediately went in pursuit. 
A friend happened to become aware of the fact, and 
hastened to inform them that Mr. Black was in the 
city. Samuel forthwith sent his wife and children 
to a place of safety ; but he remained at home, not 
supposing that he could be in any danger. The 
master arrived shortly after, with two constables, 
and was greatly exasperated when he found that his 


property had absconded. They arrested the hus- 
band, and vowed they would hold him as a hostage, 
till he informed them where they could find his wife 
and children. When he refused to accompany them, 
they beat him severely, and swore they would carry 
him to the South and sell him. He told them they 
might carry him into slavery, or murder him, if they 
pleased, but no torture they could inflict would ever 
induce him toJjetray his family. Finding they could 
not break hiWesolution, they tied his hands behind 
his back, and dragged him to a tavern kept by Peter 
Fritz, in Sassafras-street. There they left him, 
guarded by the landlord and several men, while they 
went in search of the fugitives. 

Some of Johnson's colored neighbors informed 
Isaac T. Hopper of these proceedings ; and he went 
to the tavern, accompanied by a friend. They at- 
tempted to enter the room occupied by Samuel and 
his guard, but found the door fastened, and the land- 
lord refused to unlock it. When they inquired by 
what authority he made his tavern a prison, he re- 
plied that the man was placed in his custody by two 
constables, and should not be released till they came 
for him. 

"Open the door!" said Friend Hopper; "or we 
will soon have it opened in a way that will cost 
something to repair it. Thou hast already made 
thyself liable to an action for false imprisonment. 


If thou art not very careful, thou wilt find thyself 
involved in trouble for this business." 

The landlord swore a good deal, but finding them 
so resolute, he concluded it was best to open the 
door. After obtaining the particulars of the case 
from Johnson himself, Friend Hopper cut the cord 
that bound his hands, and said, " Follow me !" 

The men on guard poured forth a volley of threats 
and curses. One of them sprang forward in great 
fury, siezed Johnson by the collar, ancKwore by his 
Maker that he should not leave the room till the 
constables arrived. Friend Hopper stepped up to 
him, and said, " Release that man immediately ! or 
thou wilt be made to repent of thy conduct." The 
ruffian quailed under the influence of that calm bold 
manner, and after some slight altercation let go his 

Johnson followed his protector in a state of in- 
tense anxiety concerning his wife and children. But 
they had been conveyed to a place of safety, and 
the man-hunters never afterward discovered their 


In August, 1804, a colored man about thirty-six 
years old waited upon the committee of the Abo- 
lition Society, and stated that he was born a slave 
to Pierce Butler, Esq., of South Carolina, and had 


always lived in his family. During the last eleven 
years, he had resided most of the time in Pennsylva- 
nia. Mr. Butler now proposed taking him to Geor- 
gia ; but he was very unwilling to leave his wife, she 
being in delicate health and needing his support. 
After mature consideration of the case, the commit- 
tee, believing Ben was legally entitled to freedom, 
agreed to apply to Judge Inskeep for a writ of habeas 
corpus ; and Isaac T. Hopper was sent to serve it 
upon Pierce Butler, Esq., at his house in Chestnut- 

Being told that Mr. Butler was at dinner, he said 
he would wait in the hall until it suited his conve- 
nience to attend to him. Mr. Butler was a tall, lord- 
ly looking man, somewhat imperious in his manners, 
as slaveholders are wont to be. When he came into 
the hall after dinner, Friend Hopper gave him a nod 
of recognition, and said, "How art thou, Pierce But- 
ler? I have here a writ of habeas corpus for thy 

Mr. Butler glanced over the paper, and exclaimed, 
" Get out of my house, you scoundrel !" 

Feigning not to hear him, Friend Hopper looked 
round at the pictures and rich furniture, and said 
with a smile, "Why, thou livest like a nabob here !" 

" Get out of my house, I say !" repeated Mr. But- 
ler, stamping violently. 

"This paper on the walls is the handsomest I ever 


saw," continued Isaac. " Is it French, or English ? 
It surely cannot have been manufactured in this 
country." Talking thus, and looking leisurely about 
him as he went, he moved deliberately toward the 
door; the slaveholder railing at him furiously all the 

" I am a citizen of South Carolina," said he. 
" The laws of Pennsylvania have nothing to do with 
me. May the devil take all those who come be- 
tween masters and their slaves ; interfering with 
what is none of their business." Supposing that his 
troublesome guest was deaf, he put his head close to 
his ear, and roared out his maledictions in stentorian 

Friend Hopper appeared unconscious of all this. 
When he reached the threshold, he turned round 
and said, "Farewell. We shall expect to see thee 
at Judge Inskeep's." 

This imperturbable manner irritated the hot-blood- 
ed slave-holder beyond endurance. He repeated 
more vociferously than ever, " Get out of my house, 
you scoundrel ! If you don't, I'll kick you out." 
The Quaker walked quietly away, as if he didn't 
hear a word. 

At the appointed time, Mr. Butler waited upon 
the Judge, where he found Friend Hopper in atten- 
dance. The sight of him renewed his wrath. He 
cursed those who interfered with his property ; and 


taking up the Bible, said he was willing to swear 
upon that book that he would not take fifteen hun- 
dred dollars for Ben. Friend Hopper charged him 
with injustice in wishing to deprive the man of his 
legal right to freedom. Mr. Butler maintained that 
he was as benevolent as any other man. 

"Thou benevolent!" exclaimed Friend Hopper. 
"Why, thou art not even just. Thou hast already 
sent back into bondage two men, who were legally 
entitled to freedom by staying in Philadelphia dur- 
ing the term prescribed by law. If thou hadst a 
proper sense of justice, thou wouldst bring those 
men back, and let them take the liberty that right- 
fully belongs to them." 

" If you were in a different walk of life, I would 
treat your insult as it deserves," replied the haughty 

"What dost thou mean by that? asked Isaac. 
Wouldst thou shoot me, as Burr did Hamilton? I 
assure thee I should consider it no honor to be killed 
by a member of Congress ; and surely there would 
be neither honor nor comfort in killing thee ; for in 
thy present state of mind thou art not fit to die." 

Mr. Butler told the judge he believed that man 
was either deaf or crazy when he served the writ 
of habeas corpus ; for he did not take the slightest 
notice of anything that was said to him. Judge Ins- 


keep smiled as he answered, "You don't know Mr. 
Hopper as well as we do," 

A lawyer was procured for Ben ; but Mr. Butler 
chose to manage his own cause. He maintained 
that he was only a sojourner in Pennsylvania; that 
Ben had never resided six months at any one time in 
that State, except while he was a member of Con- 
gress ; and in that case, the law allowed him to keep 
his slave in Pennsylvania as long as he pleased. 
The case was deemed an important one, and was 
twice adjourned for further investigation. In the 
course of the argument, Mr. Butler admitted that he 
returned from Congress to Philadelphia, with Ben, 
on the second of January, 1804, and had remained 
there with him until the writ of habeas corpus was 
served, on the third of August, the same year. The 
lawyers gave it as their opinion that Ben's legal 
right to freedom was too plain to admit of any 
doubt. They said the law to w T hich Mr. Butler had 
alluded was made for the convenience of Southern 
gentlemen, who might need the attendance of their 
personal slaves, when Congress met in Philadelphia ; 
but since the seat of government was removed, it by 
no means authorized members to come into Penn- 
sylvania with their slaves, and keep them there as 
long as they chose. After much debate, the judge 
gave an order discharging Ben from all restraint, 
and he walked off rejoicing. 


His master was very indignant at the decision, 
and complained loudly that a Pennsylvania court 
should presume to discharge a Carolinian slave. 

When Ben was set at liberty, he let himself to 
Isaac W. Morris, then living at his country seat 
called Cedar Grove, three miles from Philadelphia. 
Being sent to the city soon after, on some business 
for his employer, he was attached by the marshall 
of the United States, on a writ De homine replegian- 
do, at the suit of Mr. Butler, and two thousand dol- 
lars were demanded for bail. The idea was proba- 
bly entertained that so large an amount could not be 
procured, and thus Ben would again come into his 
master's possession. But Isaac T. Hopper and Tho- 
mas Harrison signed the bail-bond, and Ben was 
again set at liberty, to await his trial before the Cir- 
cuit Court of the United States. Bushrod Wash- 
ington, himself a slaveholder, presided in that court, 
and Mr. Butler was sanguine that he should succeed 
in having Judge Inskeep's decision reversed. The 
case was brought in October, 1806, before Judges 
Bushrod Washington and Richard Peters. It was 
ably argued by counsel on both sides. The court 
discharged Ben, and he enjoyed his liberty thence- 
forth without interruption. 

104 1.1 FE OF ISA\C 'J'. HOPPER. 


Daniel and his mother were slaves to Perry Boots, 
of Delaware. His master was in the habit of letting 
him out to neighboring farmers and receiving the 
wages himself. Daniel had married a free woman, 
and they had several children, mostly supported by 
her industry. His mother was old and helpless ; and 
the master, finding it rather burdensome to support 
her, told Daniel that if he would take charge of her, 
and pay him forty dollars a year, he might go where 
he pleased. 

The ofFer was gladly accepted; and in 1805 he 
removed to Philadelphia, with his mother and family. 
He sawed wood for a living, and soon established 
such a character for industry and honesty, that many 
of the citizens were in the habit of employing him to 
purchase their wood and prepare it for the winter. 
Upon one occasion, when he brought in a bill to 
Alderman Todd, that gentleman asked if he had not 
charged rather high. Daniel excused himself by 
saying he had an aged mother to support, in addition 
to his own family ; and that he punctually paid his 
master twenty dollars every six months, according 
to an agreement he had made with him. When the 
alderman heard the particulars, his sympathy was 
excited, and he wrote a note to Isaac T. Hopper, 
requesting him to examine into the case; stating his 
own opinion that Daniel had a legal right to freedom. 


The wood-sawyer started off with the note with 
great alacrity, and delivered it to Friend Hopper, 
saying in very animated tones, "Squire Todd thinks 
I am free !" He was in a state of great agitation 
between hope and fear. When he had told his story, 
he was sent home to get receipts for all the money 
he had paid his master since his arrival in Philadel- 
phia. It was easy to prove from these that he had 
been a resident in Pennsylvania, with his owner's 
consent, a much longer time than the law required 
to make him a free man. When Friend Hopper 
gave him this information, he was overjoyed. He 
could hardly believe it. The tidings seemed too 
good to be true. When assured that he was cer- 
tainly free, beyond all dispute, and that he need not 
pay any more of his hard earnings to a master, the 
tears came to his eyes, and he started off to bring 
his wife, that she also might hear the glad news. 
When Friend Hopper was an old man, he often used 
to remark how well he remembered their beaming 
countenances on that occasion, and their warm ex- 
pressions of gratitude to God. 

Soon after this interview, a letter was addressed 
to Perry Boots, in-forming him that his slave was 
legally free, and that he need not expect to receive 
any more of his wages. He came to Philadelphia 
immediately, to answer the letter in person. His 


first salutation was, "Where can I find that ungrate- 
ful villain Dan? I will take him home in irons." 

Friend Hopper replied, "Thou wilt find thyself 
relieved from such an unpleasant task; for I can 
easily convince thee that the law sustains thy slave 
in taking his freedom." 

Reading the law did not satisfy him. He said he 
would consult a lawyer, and call again. When he 
returned, he found Daniel waiting to see him ; and 
he immediately began to upbraid him for being so 
ungrateful. Daniel replied, " Master Perry, it was 
not justice that made me your slave. It was the 
law ; and you took advantage of it. Now, the law 
makes me free ; and ought you to blame me for tak- 
ing the advantage which it offers me ? But suppose 
I were not free, what would you be willing to take 
to manumit me?" 

His master, somewhat softened, said, "Why, 
Dan, I always intended to set you free some time or 

"I am nearly forty years old," rejoined his bonds- 
man, "and if I am ever to be free, I think it is high 
time now. What would you be willing to take for 
a deed of manumission V 

Mr. Boots answered, "Why I think you ought to 
give me a hundred dollars." 

"Would that satisfy you, master Perry ? Well, I 
can pay you a hundred dollars," said Daniel. 


Here Friend Hopper interfered, and observed there 
was nothing- rightfully due to the master ; that if 
justice were done in the case, he ought to pay Daniel 
for his labor ever since he was twenty-one years old. 

The colored man replied, "I was a slave to mas- 
ter Perry's father ; and he was kind to me. Master 
Perry and I are about the same age. We were 
brought up more like two brothers, than like master 
and slave. I can better afford to give him a hun- 
dred dollars, than he can afford to do without it. I 
will go home and get the money, if you will make 
out the necessary papers while I am gone." 

Surprised and gratified by the nobility of soul 
manifested in these words, Friend Hopper said no 
more to dissuade him from his generous purpose. 
He brought one hundred silver dollars, and Perry 
Boots signed a receipt for it, accompanied by a deed 
of manumission. He wished to have it inserted in 
the deed that he was not to be responsible for the 
support of the old woman. But Daniel objected ; 
saying, "Such an agreement would imply that I 
would not voluntarily support my poor old mother." 

When the business was concluded, he invited his 
former master and Friend Hopper to dine with him ; 
saying, "We are going to have a pretty good din- 
ner, in honor of the day." Mr. Boots accepted the 
invitation ; but Friend Hopper excused himself, on 
account of an engagement that would detain him till 


after dinner. When he called, he found they had 
not yet risen from the table, on which were the re- 
mains of a roasted turkey, a variety of vegetables, 
and a decanter of wine. Friend Hopper smiled when 
Daniel remarked, "I know master Perry loves a lit- 
tle brandy ; but I did not like to get brandy ; so I 
bought a quart of Mr. Morris' best wine, and thought 
perhaps that would do instead. I never drink any- 
thing but water myself." 

Soon after Daniel Benson became a free man, he 
gave up sawing wood, and opened a shop for the sale 
of second-hand clothing. He was successful in bu- 
siness, brought up his family very reputably, and 
supported his mother comfortably to the end of her 
days. For many years, he was class-leader in a 
Methodist church for colored people, and his correct 
deportment gained the respect of all w 7 ho knew him. 

If slavery w T ere ever justifiable, under any circum- 
stances, which of these two characters ought to have 
been the master, and which the slave ? 


About the year 1805, a colored man, who belonged 
to Colonel Hopper, of Maryland, escaped with his 
wife and children, who were also slaves. He went 
to Philadelphia and hired a small house in Green's 
Court, where he lived several months before his 
master discovered his retreat. As soon as he ob- 


tainejj tidings of him, he went to Philadelphia, and 
applied to Richard Hunt, a constable who was much 
employed as a slave hunter. Having procured a 
warrant, they went together, in search of the fugi- 
tives. It was about dusk, and the poor man just re- 
turned from daily toil, was sitting peacefully with 
his wife and children, when in rushed his old master, 
accompanied by the constable. 

With extraordinary presence of mind, the colored 
man sprang up, and throwing his arms round his 
master's neck, exclaimed, " O, my dear master, how 
glad I am to see you ! I thought I should like to be 
free ; but I had a great deal rather be a slave. I 
can't get work, and w T e have almost starved. I 
would have returned home, but I was afraid you 
would sell me to the Georgia men. I beg your par- 
don a thousand times. If you will only forgive me, 
I will go back with you, and never leave you again." 

The master was very agreeably surprised by this 
reception, and readily promised forgiveness. He 
was about to dismiss the constable, but the slave 
urged him to stay a few minutes. "I have earned a 
little money to-day, for a rarity," said he; "and I 
want to go out and buy something to drink ; for I 
suppose old master must be tired." He stepped out, 
and soon returned with a quantity of gin, with which 
he liberally supplied his guests. He knew full well 
that they were both men of intemperate habits ; so 


he talked gaily about affairs in Maryland, making 
various inquiries concerning what had happened since 
he left ; and ever and anon he replenished their glass- 
es with gin. It was not long before they were com- 
pletely insensible to all that was going on around 
them. The colored man and his family then made 
speedy preparations for departure. While Colonel 
Hopper and the constable lay in the profound stupor 
of intoxication, they were on the way to New Jersey, 
with all their household goods, where they found a 
safe place of refuge before the rising of the sun. 

When consciousness returned to the sleepers, they 
were astonished to find themselves alone in the 
house ; and as soon as they could rally their wits, 
they set off in search of the fugitives. After spend- 
ing several days without finding any track of them, 
the master called upon Isaac T. Hopper. He com- 
plained bitterly of his servant's ingratitude in ab- 
sconding from him, and of the trick he had played 
to deceive him. He said he and his family had al- 
ways been extremely comfortable in Maryland, and 
it was a great piece of folly in them to have quitted 
such a happy condition. He concluded by asking 
for assistance in tracing them ; promising to treat 
them as kindly as if they were his own children, if 
they would return to him. 

Friend Hopper replied, " If the man were as happy 
with thee as thou hast represented, he will doubtless 


return voluntarily, and my assistance will be quite 
unnecessary. I do not justify falsehood and decep- 
tion ; but I am by no means surprised at them in one 
who has always been a slave, and had before him 
the example of slaveholders. Why thou shouldst ac- 
cuse him of ingratitude, is more than I can compre- 
hend. It seems to me that he owes thee nothing. 
On the contrary, I should suppose that thou wert 
indebted to him ; for I understand that he has served 
thee more than thirty years without wages. So far 
from helping thee to hunt the poor fugitives, I will, 
with all my heart, do my utmost to keep them out 
of thy grasp." 

" Have you seen my man ?" inquired the slave- 

"He came to me when he left his own house in 
Green's Court," replied Friend Hopper ; "and I gave 
him such advice on that occasion, as I thought pro- 
per. Thou art the first slaveholder I ever met with 
bearing my name. Perhaps thou hast assumed it, as 
a means of gaining the confidence of colored people, 
to aid thee in recapturing the objects of thy avarice." 

The Colonel replied that it was really his name, 
and departed without having gained much satisfac- 
tion from the interview. He remained in Philadel- 
phia a week or ten days, where he was seized with 
mania a potu. He was carried home in a straight 
jacket, where he soon after died. 


A few months after these transactions, the slave 
called to see Friend Hopper. He laughed till he 
could hardly stand, while he described the method 
he had taken to elude his old master, and the comi- 
cal scene that followed with him and the constable. 
" I knew his weak side," said he. "I knew where 
to touch him." 

Friend Hopper inquired whether he was not aware 
that it was wrong to tell falsehoods, and to get men 

" I suppose it was wrong," he replied. "But lib- 
erty is sweet ; and none of us know what we would 
do to secure it, till we are tried." 

He afterward returned to Philadelphia, where he 
supported his family comfortably, and remained un- 

In 1795, James escaped from bondage in Mary- 
land, and went to Philadelphia, where he soon after 
married. He remained undisturbed for ten years, 
during which time he supported himself and family 
comfortably by sawing wood. But one day, in the 
year 1805, his master called to see him, accompanied 
by two other men, who were city constables. He 
appeared to be very friendly, asked James how he 
was getting along, and said he was glad to see him 
doing so well. At last, he remarked, "As you left 


my service without leave, I think you ought to make 
me some compensation for your time. Autumn is 
now coming on, and as that is always a busy season 
for wood-sawyers, perhaps you can make me a small 
payment at that time." 

This insidious conversation threw James com- 
pletely off his guard, and he promised to make an 
effort to raise some money for his master. As 
soon as he had said enough to prove that he was his 
bondsman, the slaveholder threw off the mask of 
kindness, and ordered the constables to seize and 
hand-cuff him. His wife and children shrieked aloud, 
and Isaac T. Hopper, who happened to be walking 
through the street at the time, hastened to ascertain 
the cause of such alarming sounds. Entering the 
house, he found the colored man hand-cuffed, and 
his wife and children making the loud lamentations, 
which had arrested his attention. The poor woman 
told how her husband had been duped by friendly 
words, and now he was to be torn from his family 
and carried off into slavery. Friend Hopper's feel- 
ings were deeply affected at witnessing such a heart- 
rending scene, and he exerted his utmost eloquence 
to turn the master from his cruel purpose. The wife 
and children wept and entreated also ; but it was all 
in vain. He replied to their expostulations by ridi- 
cule, and proceeded to hurry his victim off to prison. 
The children clung round Friend Hopper's knees, 


crying and sobbing, and begging that he would not 
let those men take away their father. But the fact 
that the poor fellow had acknowledged himself a 
slave rendered resistance hopeless. He was taken 
before a magistrate, and thence to prison. 

Friend Hopper was with him when his master 
came the next day to carry him away. With a 
countenance expressive of deepest anguish, the un- 
happy creature begged to speak a word in private, 
before his master entered. When Friend Hopper 
took him into an adjoining room, he exclaimed in an 
imploring tone, " Can't you give me some advice V* 
Agitated by most painful sympathy, the Friend knew 
not what to answer. After a moment's hesitation, 
he said, "Don't try to run away till thou art sure 
thou hast a good chance." This was all he could do 
for the poor fellow. He was obliged to submit to 
seeing him bound with cords, put into a carriage, and 
driven off like a sheep to the slaughter-house. 

He was conveyed to Maryland and lodged in jail. 
Several weeks after, he was taken thence and sold 
to a speculator, who was making up a coffle of slaves 
for the far South. After crossing the Susquehanna, 
they stopped at a miserable tavern, where the specu- 
lator and his companions drank pretty freely, and 
then began to amuse themselves by shooting at a 
mark. They placed the slave by the tavern door, 
where they could see him. W T hile he sat there, 


thinking of his wife and children, feeling sad and for- 
lorn beyond description, he noticed that a fisherman 
drew near the shore with a small boat, to which 
was fastened a rope and a heavy stone, to supply the 
place of an anchor. When he saw the man step out 
of the boat and throw the stone on the ground, 
Friend Hopper's parting advice instantly flashed 
through his mind. Hardship, scanty food, and above 
all, continual distress of mind, had considerably re- 
duced his flesh. He looked at his emaciated hands, 
and thought it might be possible to slip them through 
his iron cuffs. He proceeded cautiously, and when 
he saw that his guard were too busy loading their 
pistols to watch him, he released himself from his 
irons by a violent effort, ran to the river, threw the 
stone anchor into the boat, jumped in, and pushed 
for the opposite shore. The noise attracted the at- 
tention of his guard, who threatened him with instant 
death if he did not return. They loaded their pis- 
tols as quickly as possible, and fired after him, but 
luckily missed their aim. James succeeded in reach- 
ing the opposite side of the river, where he set the 
boat adrift, lest some one should take it back and 
enable them to pursue him. He bent his course to- 
ward Philadelphia, and on arriving there, went di- 
rectly to Friend Hopper's house. He had become 
so haggard and emaciated, that his friend could 
hardly believe it was James Davis who stood before 


him. He said he dared not go near his old home, 
and begged that some place might be provided where 
he could meet his wife and children in safety. This 
was accomplished, and Friend Hopper w T as present 
when the poor harassed fugitive was restored to his 
family. He described the scene as affecting beyond 
description. The children, some of whom were very 
small, twined their little arms round him, eagerly in- 
quiring, " Where have you been ? How did you get 
away ?" and his wife sobbed aloud, while she hugged 
the lost one to her heart. 

The next morning he was sent to Bucks County 
in a market wagon. Some friends there procured a 
small house for him, and his family soon joined him. 
He was enabled to earn a comfortable living, and his 
place of retreat was never afterward discovered by 
enemies of the human family. 


A very light mulatto girl, named Fanny, w r as slave 
to the widow of John Sears, in Maryland. When 
about twenty-four years old, she escaped to Phila- 
delphia, and lived in the family of Isaac W. Morris, 
where she was known by the assumed name of Mary 
Holliday. She was honest, prudent, and industrious, 
and the family became much attached to her. She 
had not been there many months when her mistress 
obtained tidings of her, and went to Philadelphia, 


accompanied by a man named Dutton. She was 
arrested on the seventh of June, 1805, and taken be- 
fore Matthew Lawler, who was then mayor. Isaac 
W. Morris immediately waited on Isaac T. Hopper 
to inform him of the circumstance, and they pro- 
ceeded together to the mayor's office. 

Dutton, being examined as a witness, testified that 
he knew a mulatto named Fanny, who belonged to 
Mrs. Sears, and he believed the woman present, 
called Mary Holliday, was that person. Mary de 
nied that she was the slave of the claimant, or that 
her name was Fanny ; but her agitation was very 
evident, though she tried hard to conceal it. 

Friend Hopper remarked to the mayor, "This 
case requires testimony as strong as if the woman 
were on trial for her life, which is of less value than 
liberty. I object to the testimony as insufficient ; 
for the witness cannot say positively that he knows 
she is the same person, but only that he believes so. 
Wouldst thou consider such evidence satisfactory in 
the case of a white person ?" 

The mayor who was not friendly to colored peo- 
ple, replied, "I should not; but I consider it suffi- 
cient in such cases as these." 

"How dark must the complexion be, to justify 
thee in receiving such uncertain evidence ?" inquired 
Friend Hopper. 


The mayor pointed to the prisoner and said, "As 
dark as that woman." 

"What wouldst thou think of such testimony in 
case of thy own daughter ?" rejoined Friend Hopper. 
"There is very little difference between her com- 
plexion and that of the woman now standing before 

He made no reply, but over-ruled the objection to 
the evidence. He consented, however, to postpone 
the case three days, to give time to procure testimo- 
ny in her favor. 

Isaac W. Morris soon after called upon Friend 
Hopper and said, " Mary has acknowledged to us 
that her name is Fanny, and that she belongs to Mrs. 
Sears. My family are all very much attached to 
her, and they cannot bear the thought of her being 
carried away into slavery. I will advance three 
hundred dollars, if thou wilt obtain her freedom." 

Friend Hopper accordingly called upon Mrs. Sears, 
and after stipulating that nothing said on either side 
should be made use of in the trial, he offered two 
hundred dollars for a deed of manumission. The 
offer w r as promptly rejected. After considerable dis- 
cussion, three hundred and fifty dollars were offered; 
for it was very desirable to have the case settled 
without being obliged to resort to an expensive and 
uncertain process of law. Mrs. Sears replied, " Tt is 
in vain to treat with me on the subject ; for I am 


determined not to sell the woman on any terms. I 
will take her back to Maryland, and make an exam- 
ple of her." 

"I hope thou wilt find thyself disappointed," re- 
joined Friend Hopper. The slaveholder merely an- 
swered with a malicious smile, as if perfectly sure of 
her triumph. 

Finding himself disappointed in his attempts to 
purchase the woman, Friend Hopper resolved to 
carry the case to a higher court, and accumulate 
as many legal obstructions as possible. For that 
purpose, he obtained a writ De homine replegiando, 
and when the suitable occasion arrived, he accompa- 
nied Mary Holliday to the mayor's office, with a 
deputy sheriff to serve the writ W^en the trial 
came on, he again urged the insufficiency of proof 
brought by the claimant. The mayor replied, in a 
tone somewhat peremptory, "I have already decid- 
ed that matter. I shall deliver the slave to her 

Friend Hopper gave the sheriff a signal to serve 
the writ. He was a novice in the business, but in 
obedience to the instructions given him, he laid his 
hand on Mary's shoulder, and said, "By virtue of 
this writ, I replevin this woman, and deliver her to 
Mr. Hopper." 

Her protector immediately said to her, " Thou 
canst now go home with me." But her mistress 


seized her by the arm, and said she should not go. 
The mayor was little acquainted with legal forms, 
beyond the usual routine of city business. He seem- 
ed much surprised, and inquired what the writ was. 

"It is a homine replegiando" replied Friend Hop- 

"I don't understand what that means," said the 

"It is none the less powerful on that account," 
rejoined Friend Hopper. "It has taken the woman 
out of thy power, and delivered her to another tribu- 

During this conversation, the mistress kept her 
grasp upon Mary. Friend Hopper appealed to the 
mayor, again repeating that the girl was now to 
await the decision of another court. He accordingly 
told Mrs. Sears it was necessary to let her go. She 
asked what was to be done in such a case. The 
mayor, completely puzzled, and somewhat vexed, 
replied impatiently, "I don't know. You must ask 
Mr. Hopper. His laws are above mine. I thought 
I knew something about the business ; but it seems 
I don't." 

Mary went home with her protector, and Mrs. 
Sears employed Alexander J. Dallas as counsel. 
The case was kept pending in the Supreme Court a 
long time ; for no man understood better than Friend 
Hopper how to multiply difficulties. Mrs. Sears fre- 


quently attended, bringing witnesses with her from 
Maryland ; which of course involved much trouble 
and expense. After several years, the trial came on; 
but it was found she had left some of her principal 
witnesses at home. Most of the forenoon was spent 
in disputes about points of law, and the admissibility 
of certain evidence. The court then adjourned to 
three in the afternoon. 

Mrs. Sears was informed that even if the court 
adjudged Mary to be her slave, Friend Hopper would 
doubtless fail to produce her, and they would be 
compelled to go through another process to recover 
from him the penalty of the bond. She had become 
exceedingly weary of the law, the trouble and ex- 
pense of which had far exceeded her expectations. 
She therefore instructed her lawyer to try to effect a 
compromise. Friend Hopper, being consulted for 
this purpose, offered to pay two hundred and fifty 
dollars for Mary, if the claimant would pay the costs. 
She accepted the terms, well pleased to escape from 
further litigation. 

When the court met in the afternoon, they were 
informed that the matter was settled ; and the jury 
with consent of parties, rendered a verdict that Mary 
was free. By her own earnings, and donations from 
sympathizing friends, she gradually repaid Isaac W. 
Morris three hundred dollars toward the sum he had 

advanced for the expenses of her trial. 


In his efforts to protect the rights and redress the 
wrongs of colored people, Friend Hopper had a zeal- 
ous and faithful ally in Thomas Harrison, also a 
member of the Society of Friends. When recount- 
ing the adventures they had together, he used to say, 
" That name excites pleasant emotions whenever it 
occurs to me. I shall always reverence his memory. 
He was my precursor in Philadelphia, as the friend 
of the slave, and my coadjutor in scores of cases for 
their relief. His soul was always alive to the suf- 
ferings of his fellow creatures, and dipped into sym- 
pathy with the oppressed ; not that idle sympathy 
that can be satisfied with lamenting their condition, 
and make no exertions for their relief; but sympa- 
thy, like the apostle's faith, manifesting itself in 
works, and extending its influence to all within its 

Thomas Harrison was a lively, bustling man, with 
a roguish twinkle in his eye, and a humorous style 
of talking. Some Friends, of more quiet tempera- 
ments than himself, thought he had more activity 
than was consistent with dignity. They reminded 
him that Mary sat still at the feet of Jesus, while 
Martha was "troubled about many things." 

"All that is very well," replied Thomas; "but 
Mary would have had a late breakfast, after all, if it 
had not been for Martha." 


From among various anecdotes in which Friend 
Harrison's name occurs, I select the following : 


James was a slave to Mr. Mc Calmont of Dela- 
ware. In 1805, when he was about thirty years old, 
he escaped to New-Jersey and let himself out to a 
farmer. After he had been there a few months, 
several runaway slaves in his neighborhood were ar- 
rested and carried back to the South. This alarmed 
him, and he became very anxious that some person 
should advance a sum of money sufficient to redeem 
him from bondage, which he would bind himself to 
repay by labor. Finding, that his employer abhorred 
slavery, and was very friendly to colored people, he 
ventured to open his heart to him ; and Isaac T. 
Hopper was consulted on the subject. 

The first step was to write to Mr. Mc Calmont to 
ascertain what were the lowest terms on which he 
would manumit his slave. The master soon came 
in person, accompanied by a Philadelphia merchant, 
who testified that his friend Mc Calmont was a high- 
ly respectable man, and treated his slaves with great 
kindness. He said James would be much happier 
with his master than he could be in any other situa- 
tion, and strongly urged Friend Hopper to tell where 
he might be found. 

He replied, " It does not appear that James thought 


himself so happy, or he would not have left his ser- 
vice. Even if I had no objection to slavery, I should 
still be bound by every principle of honor not to be- 
tray the confidence reposed in me. But feeling as 
it is well known I do on that subject, I am surprised 
thou shouldst make such a proposition to me." 

They then called upon Thomas Harrison, and 
tried to enlist him in their favor by repeating how 
well James had been treated, and how happy he 
was in slavery. Friend Harrison replied, in his 
ironical way, "O, I know very well that slaves sleep 
on feather beds, while their master's children sleep 
on straw ; that they eat white bread, and their 
master's children eat brown. But enclose ten acres 
with a high wall, plant it with Lombardy poplars 
and the most beautiful shrubbery, build a magnifi- 
cent castle in the midst of it, give thee pen, ink, and 
paper, to write about the political elections in which 
thou art so much interested, load thee with the best 
of everything thy heart could desire, still I think 
thou would st want to get out beyond the wall." 

The master, being unable to ascertain where his 
slave could be found, finally informed Friend Hop- 
per that he would manumit him on the receipt of 
one hundred and fifty dollars. Mr. John Hart, a drug- 
gist, generously advanced the sum, and James was 
indentured to him for the term of five years. Before 
the contract was concluded, somebody remarked 


that perhaps he would repeat his old trick of run- 
ning away. "I am not afraid of that," replied Mr. 
Hart. "I will tic him by the teeth ; " meaning he 
would feed him well. 

In fact, James now appeared quite satisfied. His 
new master and mistress were kind to him, and he 
was faithful and diligent in their service. When a 
year or two had elapsed, he asked permission to 
visit his old master and fellow servants. Mr. Hart 
kept a carriage, which he seldom used in the winter, 
and he told James he might take one of the horses. 
This suited his taste exactly. He mounted a noble 
looking animal, with handsome saddle and bridle, 
and trotted off to Delaware. When he arrived, 
he tied the horse and went into the kitchen. Mr. 
Mc Calmont coming home soon after, and observing 
a very fine horse in his yard, supposed he must have 
some distinguished visitor. Upon inquiry, he was 
informed that Jim rode the horse there, and was 
then in the kitchen. He went out and spoke very 
pleasantly to his former slave, and said he was glad 
to see him. Being informed that the horse belonged 
to his new master, Mr. Hart, who had kindly per- 
mitted him to use it, he ordered the animal to be 
taken to the stable and supplied with hay and oats. 
James was treated kindly by all the family, and 
spent two days very agreeably. When about to 
take leave, Mr. Mc Calmont said to him, "Well, 


Jim, I am glad to find that you have a good master, 
and are happy. But I had rather you would not 
come here again in the style you now have; for it 
will make my people dissatisfied." 

James returned much pleased with his excursion, 
and soon went to give Friend Hopper an account of 
it. He served out his time faithfully, and remained 
afterward in the same family, as a hired servant. 


William was a slave in Virginia. When about 
twenty-five years old, he left his master and went 
to Philadelphia with two of his fellow slaves ; giving 
as a reason that he wanted to try whether he could n't 
do something for* himself. When they had been 
absent a few months, their master "sold them run- 
ning" to Mr. Joseph Ennells, a speculator in slaves, 
who procured a warrant and constable, and repaired 
to Philadelphia in search of his newly acquired pro- 
perty. They arrived on Saturday, a day when many 
people congregated at the horse-market. Ennells 
soon espied the three fugitives among the crowd, 
and made an attempt to pounce upon them. Lucki- 
ly, they saw the movement, and dodging quickly 
among the multitude, they escaped. 

After spending some days in search of them, En- 
nells called upon Isaac T. Hopper and Thomas 
Harrison, and offered to sell them very cheap if 


they would hunt them up. Friend Hopper immedi- 
ately recognized him as the man who had threat- 
ened to blow out his brains, when he went to the 
rescue of old William Bachelor ; and he thus ad- 
dressed him : " I would advise thee to go home and 
obtain thy living in some more honorable way ; for 
the trade in which thou art engaged is a most odious 
one. On a former occasion thou wert treated with 
leniency ; and I recommend a similar course to thee 
with regard to these poor fugitives." 

The speculator finally agreed to sell the three 
men for two hundred and fifty dollars. The money 
was paid, and he returned home. In the course of 
a few days William Anderson called upon Isaac T. 
Hopper for advice. He informed him that Thomas 
Harrison had bought him and his companions, and 
told him he had better find the other two, and go 
and make a bargain with Friend Harrison concerning 
the payment. He called accordingly, and offered to 
bind himself as a servant until he had earned enough 
to repay the money that had been advanced ; but he 
said he had searched in vain for the two companions 
of his flight. They had left the city abruptly, and 
he could not ascertain where they had gone. Tho- 
mas Harrison said to him, "Perhaps thou art not 
aware that thou hast a legal claim to thy freedom 
already ; for I am a citizen of Pennsylvania, and 
the laws here do not allow any man to hold a slave." 


William replied, "I am too grateful for the kind- 
ness you have shown me, to feel any disposition 
to take advantage of that circumstance. If I live, 
you shall never lose a single cent on my account." 

He was soon after indentured to Mr. Jacob Down- 
ing a respectable merchant of Philadelphia, who 
agreed to pay one hundred and twenty-five dollars 
for his services. This was half of the money ad- 
vanced for all of them. William served the stipu- 
lated time faithfully. His master said he never had 
a more honest and useful servant; and he on his 
part always spoke of the family with great respect 
and affection. 

When the time of his indenture had expired, he 
called upon his old benefactor, Thomas Harrison. 
After renewing his grateful acknowledgments for 
the service rendered to him in extremity, he inquired 
whether anything had ever been heard from the two 
other fugitives. Being answered in the negative, he 
replied, "Well, Mr. Harrison, you paid two hundred 
and fifty dollars for us, and you have not been able 
to find my companions. You have received only 
one hundred and twenty-five dollars. It is not right 
that you should lose by your kindness to us. I am 
willing you should bind me again to make up the 

" Honest fellow ! Honest fellow ! " exclaimed Tho • 
mas Harrison. "Go about thy business. Thou hast 


paid thy share, and I have no further claim upon 
thee. Conduct as well as thou hast done since I 
have known thee, and thou wilt surely prosper." 

Friend Hopper happened to be present at this in- 
terview; and he used to say, many years afterward, 
that he should never forget how it made his heart 
glow to witness such honorable and disinterested 
conduct. The two other fugitives were never heard 
of, and Friend Harrison of course lost one hundred 
and twenty-five dollars. William frequently called 
upon his benefactors, and always conducted in the 
most exemplary manner. 


Sarah Roach, a light mulatto, was sold by her 
master in Maryland to a man residing in Delaware. 
The laws of Delaware prohibit the introduction of 
slaves, unless brought into the state by persons in- 
tending to reside there permanently. If brought 
under other circumstances they become free. Sarah 
remained with her new master several years before 
she was made aware of this fact. Meanwhile, she 
gave birth to a daughter, who was of course free, if 
the mother was free at the time she w T as born. At 
last, some one informed the bondwoman that her 
master had no legal claim to her services. She then 
left him and went to Philadelphia. But she re- 
mained ignorant of the fact that her daughter was 


free, in consequence of the universal maxim of slave 
law, that "the child follows the condition of the 

When the girl was about sixteen years old, she 
absconded from Delaware, and went to her mother, 
who inquired of Isaac T. Hopper what was the best 
method of eluding the vigilance of her master. After 
ascertaining the circumstances, he told her that her 
daughter was legally free, and instructed her to 
inform him in case any person attempted to arrest 

Her claimant soon discovered her place of abode, 
and in the summer of 1806 went in pursuit of her. 
Being aware that his claim had no foundation in law, 
he did not attempt to establish it before any magis- 
trate, but seized the girl and hurried her on board a 
sloop, that lay near Spruce-street wharf, unloading 
staves. Fearing she would be wrested from him by 
the city authorities, he removed the vessel from the 
wharf and anchored near an island between Phila- 
delphia and New-Jersey. A boat was placed along- 
side the sloop, into which the cargo was unloaded 
and carried to the wharf they had left. 

The mother went to Isaac T. Hopper in great 
distress, and informed him of the transaction. He 
immediately made application to an alderman, who 
issued a process to have the girl brought before him. 
Guided by two colored men, who had followed her 


when she was carried off, he immediately proceeded 
to the sloop, accompanied by an officer. When the 
claimant saw them appoaching, he went into the 
cabin for his gun, and threatened them with instant 
death if they came near his vessel. Friend Hopper 
quietly told the men to go ahead and pay no atten- 
tion to his threats. When they moored their boat 
alongside of the one into which they were unloading 
staves, he became very vociferous, and pointing his 
gun at Friend Hopper's breast, swore he should not 
enter the vessel. 

He replied, "I have an officer with me, and I have 
authority from a magistrate to bring before him a 
girl now in thy vessel. I think we are prepared to 
show that she is free." 

The man still kept his gun pointed, and told them 
to beware how they attempted to come on board. 

"If thou shouldst injure any person, it would be 
impossible for thee to escape," replied Friend Hop- 
per; "for thou art a hundred and twenty miles from 
the Capes, with hundreds of people on the wharf to 
witness thy deed." 

While speaking thus, he advanced toward him 
until he came near enough to sieze hold of the gun 
and turn it aside. The man made a violent jerk to 
wrest the weapon from him, and still clinging fast 
hold of it he was pulled on board. In the scuffle to 
regain possession of his gun, the man trod upon a 


roller on the deck, lost his balance, and fell sprawling 
on his back. Friend Hopper seized that opportunity 
to throw the gun overboard. Whereupon, a sailor 
near by siezed an axe and came toward him in a 
great rage. Even if the courageous Quaker had 
wished to escape, there was no chance to do so. 
He advanced to meet the sailor, and looking him 
full in the face said, "Thou foolish fellow, dost thou 
think to frighten me with that axe, when thy com- 
panion could not do it with his gun? Put the axe 
down. Thou art resisting legal authority, and liable 
to suffer severely for thy conduct." 

In a short time they became more moderate, but 
denied that the girl was on board. The vessel was 
nearly emptied of her cargo, and Friend Hopper 
peeping into the hold found her stowed away in a 
remote part of it. He brought her on deck and 
took her with him into the boat, of which his com- 
panions, including the constable, had retained pos- 

The girl was uncommonly handsome, with straight 
hair and regular European features. No one could 
have guessed from her countenance that any of her 
remote ancestors were Africans. 

The claimant did not make his appearance at the 
alderman's office. A warrant was obtained charging 
him and the sailor with having resisted an officer in 
the discharge of his duty. Isaac T. Hopper returned 


to the sloop with a constable and brought the two 
men before a magistrate to answer to this charge. 
They did not attempt to deny the truth of it, but 
tried to excuse themselves on the plea that they re- 
sisted an attempt to take away their property. Of 
course, this was of no avail, and they were obliged 
to enter into bonds for their appearance at court. 
Being strangers in the city, it was difficult to obtain 
bail, and there seemed to be no alternative but a 
prison. However, as there must unavoidably be 
considerable trouble and delay in procuring all the 
necessary evidence concerning the birth of the al- 
leged slave, her friends agreed to dismiss them, if 
they would pay all expenses, give each of the officers 
five dollars, and manumit the girl. Under existing 
circumstances, they were glad to avail themselves of 
the offer ; and so the affair was settled. 


A. man by the name of Daniel Godwin, in the 
lower part of Delaware, made a business of buying 
slaves running ; taking the risk of losing the small 
sums paid for them under such circumstances. In 
the year 1806, he purchased in this way a slave 
named Ezekiel, familiarly called Zeke. He went to 
Philadelphia, and called on Isaac T. Hopper ; think- 
ing if he knew where the man was, he would be 
glad to have his freedom secured on moderate terms. 


While they were talking together, a black man hap- 
pened to walk in, and leaning on the counter looked 
up in Mr. Godwin's face all the time he was telling 
the story of his bargain. When he had done speak- 
ing, he said, " How do you do, Mr. Godwin? Don't 
you know me ?" 

The speculator answered that he did not. 

"Then you don't remember a man that lived with 
your neighbor, Mr. ?" continued he. 

Mr. Godwin was at first puzzled to recollect whom 
he meant ; but when he had specified the time, and 
various other particulars, he said he did remember 
such a person. 

"Well," answered the black man, "I am he ; and 
I am Zeke's brother." 

The speculator inquired whether he knew where 
he was. 

He replied, "O yes, Mr. Godwin, I know where 
he is, well enough. But I'm sorry you've bought 
Zeke. You'll never make anything out of him. A 
bad speculation, Mr. Godwin." 

"Why, what's the matter with Zeke?" asked the 

" O, these blacks come to Philadelphia and they 
get into bad company," replied he. "They are 
afraid to be seen in the day-time, and so they go 
prowling about in the night. I'm very sorry you've 


bought Zeke. He'll never do you one cent's worth 
of good. A bad speculation, Mr. Godwin." 

The prospect seemed rather discouraging, and the 
trader said, " Come now, suppose you buy Zeke 
yourself? I'll sell him low." 

"If I bought him, I should only have to maintain 
him into the bargain," replied the black man. "He's 
my brother, to be sure ; but then he'll never be good 
for anything." 

"Perhaps he would behave better if he was free," 
urged Mr. Godwin. 

"That's the only chance there is of his ever doing 
any better," responded the colored man. "But I'm 
very doubtful about it. If I should make up my 
mind to give him a chance, what would you be will- 
ing to sell him for V 

The speculator named one hundred and fifty dol- 

"Poh! Poh !" exclaimed the other. "I tell you 
Zeke will never be worth a cent to you or anybody 
else. A hundred and fifty dollars, indeed !" 

The parley continued some time longer, and the 
case seemed such a hopeless one, that Mr. Godwin 
finally agreed to take sixty dollars. The colored 
man went off, and soon returned with the required 
sum. Isaac T. Hopper drew up a deed of manu- 
mission, in which the purchaser requested him to in- 
sert that Zeke was now commonly called Samuel 


Johnson. The money was paid, and the deed signed 
with all necessary formalities. When the business 
was entirely completed, the colored man said, " Zeke 
is now free, is he ?" When Mr. Godwin answered, 
" Yes," he turned to Friend Hopper and repeated the 
question : "Zeke is free, and nobody can take him ; 
can they, Mr. Hopper ? If he was here, he would 
be in no danger ; would he ?" 

Friend Hopper replied, " Wherever Zeke may 
now be, I assure thee he is free." 

Being thus assured, the black man made a low 
bow, and with a droll expression of countenance said, 
"I hope you are very well, Mr. Godwin. I am hap- 
py to see you, sir. I am Zeke !" 

The speculator, finding himself thus outwitted, 
flew into a violent rage. He seized Zeke by the 
collar, and began to threaten and abuse him. But 
the colored man shook his fist at him, and said, "If 
you don't let me go, Mr. Godwin, I'll knock you 
down. I'm a free citizen of these United States ; 
and I won't be insulted in this way by anybody." 

Friend Hopper interfered between them, and Mr. 
Godwin agreed to go before a magistrate to have the 
case examined. When the particulars had been re- 
counted, the magistrate answered, "You have been 
outwitted, sir. Zeke is now as free as any man in 
this room." 

There was something so exhilarating in the con- 


sciousness of being his own man, that Zeke began 
to "feel his oats," as the saying is. He said to the 
magistrate, "May it please your honor to grant me 
a warrant against Mr. Godwin ? He violently seized 
me by the collar ; thus committing assault and bat- 
tery on a free citizen of these United States." 

Friend Hopper told him he had better be satisfied 
with that day's work, and let Mr. Godwin go home. 
He yielded to this expostulation, though he might 
have made considerable trouble by insisting upon 


A Frenchman named M. Bouiila resided in Spring 
Garden, Philadelphia, in the year 1806. He and a 
woman, who had lived with him some time, had in 
their employ a mulatto girl of nine years old, called 
Amy. Dreadful stories were in circulation concern- 
ing their cruel treatment to this child ; and compas- 
sionate neighbors had frequently solicited Friend 
Hopper's interference. After a while, he heard they 
were about to send her into the country ; and fear- 
ing she might be sold into slavery, he called upon 
M. Bouiila to inquire whither she was going. As 
soon as he made known his business, the door was 
unceremoniously slammed in his face and locked. 
A note was then sent to the Frenchman, asking for 
a friendly interview ; but he returned a verbal an- 
swer. "Tell Mr. Hopper to mind his own business." 


Considering it his business to protect an abused 
child, he applied to a magistrate for a warrant, and 
proceeded to the house, accompanied by his friend 
Thomas Harrison and a constable. As soon as they 
entered the door, M. Bouilla ran up-stairs, and arm- 
ing himself with a gun, threatened to shoot whoever 
advanced toward him. Being blind, however, he could 
only point the gun at random in the direction of their 
voices, or of any noise which might reach his ear. 
The officer refused to attempt his arrest under such 
peril ; saying, he was under no obligation to risk his 
life. Friend Hopper expostulated with the French- 
man, explained the nature of their errand, and urged 
him to come down and have the matter inquired into 
in an amicable way. But he would not listen, and 
persisted in swearing he would shoot the first person 
who attempted to come near him. At last, Friend 
Hopper took off his shoes, stepped up-stairs very 
softly and quickly, and just as the Frenchman be- 
came aware of his near approach, he seized the gun 
and held it over his shoulder. It discharged instant- 
ly, and shattered the plastering of the stairway, mak- 
ing it fly in all directions. There arose a loud cry, 
"Mr. Hopper's killed ! Mr. Hopper's killed !" 

The gun being thus rendered harmless, the French- 
man was soon arrested, and they all proceeded to the 
the magistrate's office, accompanied by several of the 


neighbors. There was abundant evidence that the 
child had been half starved, unmercifully beaten, and 
tortured, in various ways. Indeed, she was such a 
poor, emaciated, miserable looking object, that her 
appearance was of itself enough to prove the cruel 
treatment she had received. When the case had 
been fully investigated, the magistrate ordered her 
to be consigned to the care of Isaac T. Hopper, who 
hastened home with her, being anxious lest his wife 
should accidentally hear the rumor that he had been 

He afterwards ascertained that Amy was daughter 
of the white woman who had aided in thus shame- 
fully abusing her. He kept her in his family till she 
became well and strong, and then bound her to one 
of his friends in the country to serve till she was 
eighteen. She grew up a very pretty girl, and de- 
ported herself to the entire satisfaction of the family. 
When her period of service had expired, she returned 
to Philadelphia, where her conduct continued very 
exemplary. She frequently called to see Friend 
Hopper, and often expressed gratitude to him for 
having rescued her from such a miserable condition. 


Manuel was an active, intelligent slave in North 
Carolina. His master, Mr. Joseph Spear, a tar 
manufacturer, employed him to transport tar, and 


other produce of the place, down Tar river to Tar- 
borough. After laboring several years for another's 
benefit, Manuel began to feel anxious to derive some 
advantage from his own earnings. He had children, 
and it troubled him to think that they must live and 
die in slavery. He was acquainted w r ith a colored 
man in the neighborhood, named Samuel Curtis, who 
had a certificate of freedom draw T n up by the clerk 
of the county, and duly authenticated, with the 
county seal attached to it. Manuel thought he could 
easily pass for Samuel Curtis, and make his way to 
Philadelphia, if he could only obtain possession of 
this valuable paper. He accordingly made him a 
confidant of his plans, and he bought the certificate 
for two dollars. 

The next time Manuel was sent to Tarborough, 
he delivered the cargo as usual, then left the boat 
and started for the North. He arrived safely in 
Philadelphia, where he assumed the name of Samuel 
Curtis, and earned a living by sweeping chimneys. 
In a short time, he had several boys in his employ, 
and laid by money. When he had been going on 
thus for about two years, he was suddenly met in the 
street by one of the neighbors of his old master, who 
immediately arrested him as a fugitive from slavery. 
He was taken before Robert Wharton, then mayor. 
The stranger declared that the colored man he had 
seized was a slave, belonging to one of his near 


neighbors in North Carolina. Samuel denied that 
he was a slave, and showed his certificate of free- 
dom. The stranger admitted that the document was 
authentic, but he insisted that the real name of the 
person who had possession of the paper was Manuel. 
He said he knew him perfectly well, and also knew 
Samuel Curtis, who was a free colored man in his 
neighborhood. The mayor decided that he could 
not receive parole evidence in contradiction to a pub- 
lic record ; and Samuel Curtis was set at liberty. 

To the honor of this worthy magistrate be it re- 
corded that during forty years whilst he was alder- 
man in Philadelphia, and twenty years that he 
was mayor, he never once surrendered a fugitive 
slave to his claimant, though frequently called upon 
to do so. He used to tell Friend Hopper that he 
could not conscientiously do it ; that he would rather 
resign his office. He often remarked that the De- 
claration, "All men are created equal ; they are en- 
dowed by their Creator with certain inalienable 
rights ; among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit 
of happiness ;" appeared to him based on a sacred 
principle, paramount to all law. 

When Samuel Curtis was discharged, he deemed 
it expedient to go to Boston ; thinking he might be 
safer there than in Philadelphia. But he had not 
been there many days, before he met the same man 
who had previously arrested him; and he by no 


means felt sure that the mayor of that city would 
prove as friendly to the colored people as was Robert 
Wharton. To add to his troubles, some villain broke 
open his trunk while he was absent from his lodg- 
ings, and stole a hundred and fifty dollars of his hard 
earnings. The poor fugitive began to think there 
was no safe resting-place for him on the face of the 
earth. He returned to Philadelphia disconsolate 
and anxious. He was extremely diligent and frugal, 
and every year he contrived to save some money, 
which he put out at interest in safe hands. At last, 
he was able to purchase a small lot in Powell-street, 
on which he built a good three-story brick house, 
where he lived with his apprentices, and let some of 
the rooms at a good profit. 

In 1807, he called upon Friend Hopper and told 
him that his eagerness to make money had chiefly 
arisen from a strong desire to redeem his children 
from bondage. But being a slave himself, he said it 
was impossible for him to go in search of them, un- 
less his own manumission could be obtained. It 
happened that a friend of Isaac T. Hopper was go- 
ing to North Carolina. He agreed to see the master 
and ascertain what could be done. Mr. Spear never 
expected to hear from his slave again, and the propo- 
sition to buy him after so many years had elapsed, 
seemed like finding a sum of money. He readily 


agreed to make out a bill of sale for one hundred 
dollars, which was immediately paid. 

The first use Samuel Curtis made of the freedom 
he had purchased was to set off for the South in 
search of his children. To protect himself as much 
as possible from the perils of such an undertaking, 
he obtained a certificate of good character, signed by 
the mayor of Philadelphia, and several of the most 
respectable citizens. They also gave him " a pass" 
stating the object of his journey, and commending 
him to the protecting kindness of those among whom 
he might find it necessary to travel. With these he 
carefully packed his deed of manumission, and set 
forth on his errand of paternal love. When he went 
to take leave of Friend Hopper, he was much agitat- 
ed. He clasped his hand fervently, and the tears 
flowed fast down his w r eather-beaten cheeks. "I 
know I am going into the midst of danger," said he. 
" Perhaps I may be seized and sold into slavery. 
But I am willing to hazard everything, even my own 
liberty, if I can only secure the freedom of my chil- 
dren. I have been a slave myself, and I know what 
slaves suffer. Farewell ! Farewell, my good friend. 
May God bless you, and may he restore to me my 
children. Then I shall be a happy man." 

He started on his journey, and went directly to 
his former master to obtain information. He did not 
at first recognize his old servant. But when he be- 


came convinced that the person before him was the 
identical Manuel, who had formerly been his slave, 
he seemed pleased to see him, entertained him kind- 
ly, and inquired how he had managed to get money 
enough to buy his children. 

The real Samuel Curtis, who sold him the certifi- 
cate of freedom, was dead ; and since he could no 
longer be endangered by a statement of particulars, 
the spurious Samuel related the whole story of his 
escape, and of his subsequent struggles ; concluding 
the whole by expressing an earnest wish to find his 

Mr. Spear had sold them, some years before, to a 
man in South Carolina ; and thither the father went 
in search of them. On arriving at the designated 
place, he found they had been sold into Georgia. 
He went to Georgia, and was told they had been 
sold to a man in Tennessee. He followed them into 
Tennessee, but there he lost all track of them. Af- 
ter the most patient and diligent search, he was 
compelled to return home without further tidings of 

As soon as he arrived in Philadelphia, he went to 
Isaac T. Hopper to tell how the cherished plan of his 
life had been frustrated. He seemed greatly deject- 
ed, and wept bitterly. "I have deprived myself of 
almost every comfort," said he; "that I might save 
money to buy my poor children. But now they are 


not to be found, and my money gives me no satis- 
faction. The only consolation I have is the hope 
that they are all dead." 

The bereaved old man never afterward seemed to 
take comfort in anything. He sunk into a settled 
melancholy, and did not long survive his disappoint- 


In the winter of 1808, several Virginia planters 
went to Philadelphia to search for eleven slaves, who 
had absconded. Most of these colored people had 
been there several years, and some of them had ac- 
quired a little property. Their masters had ascer- 
tained where they lived, and one evening, when they 
returned from their acustomed labors, unconscious 
of danger impending over them, they were pounced 
upon suddenly and conveyed to prison. It was late 
at night when this took place, and Friend Hopper 
did not hear of it till the next morning. 

He had risen very early, according to his usual 
custom, and upon opening his front door he found a 
letter slipped under it, addressed to him. This 
anonymous epistle informed him that eleven slaves 
had been arrested, and were to be tried before Al- 
derman Douglass that morning; that the owners 
were gentlemen of wealth and high standing, and 
ould produce the most satisfactory evidence that 


the persons arrested were their slaves ; consequently 
Friend Hoppers attendance could be of no possible 
benefit to them. It went on to say that the magis- 
trate understood his business, and could do justice 
without his assistance ; but if, notwithstanding this 
warning, he did attend at the magistrate's office, for 
the purpose of wresting from these gentlemen their 
property, his house would be burned while himself 
and family were asleep in it, and his life would cer- 
tainly be taken. The writer invoked the most aw- 
ful imprecations upon himself if he did not carry 
these threats into execution. 

Friend Hopper was too much accustomed to such 
epistles to be disturbed by them. He put it in his 
pocket, and said nothing about it, lest his wife should 
be alarmed. A few minutes afterward, he received 
a message from some colored people begging him to 
go to the assistance of the fugitives ; and when the 
trial came on, he was at the alderman's office, of 
course. Richard Rush was counsel for the claim- 
ants. The colored prisoners had no lawyer. This 
examination was carried on with much earnestness 
and excitement. One of the Virginians failed in 
proof as to the identity of the person he claimed. In 
the case of several others, the power of attorney was 
pronounced informal by the magistrate. After a 
long protracted controversy, during which Friend 
Hopper threw as many difficulties in the way as 


possible, it was decided that four of the persons in 
custody were proved to be slaves, and the other 
seven were discharged. This decision greatly exas 
perated the Southerners, and they vented their anger 
in very violent expressions. The constables em- 
ployed were unprincipled men, ready for any low 
Imsiness, provided it were profitable. The man-hun- 
ters had engaged to give them fifty dollars for each 
slave they were enabled to take back to Virginia ; 
but they were to receive nothing for those who were 
discharged. Hence, their extreme anxiety to avoid 
Friend Hopper's interference. When they found 
that more than half of their destined prey had slip- 
ped through their fingers, they were furious. One 
of them especially raved like a madman. He had 
written the anonymous letter, and was truly "a lewd 
fellow of the baser sort." 

Friend Hopper's feelings were too much interested 
for those who had been decreed slaves, to think any- 
thing of the abuse bestowed on himself. All of 
them, three men and one woman, were married to 
free persons ; and it was heart-breaking to hear their 
lamentations at the prospect of being separated for- 
ever. There was a general manifestation of sympa- 
thy, and even the slaveholders were moved to com- 
passion. Friend Hopper opened a negotiation with 
them in behalf of the Abolition Society, and they 
finally consented to manumit them all for seven hun- 


dred dollars. The money was advanced by a Friend 
named Thomas Phipps, and the poor slaves returned 
to their humble homes rejoicing. They repaid every 
farthing of the money, and ever after manifested the 
liveliest gratitude to their benefactors. 

When the anger of the Southerners had somewhat 
cooled, Friend Hopper invited them to come and see 
him. They called, and spent the evening in discuss- 
ing the subject of slavery. When they parted from 
the veteran abolitionist, it was with mutual courtesy 
and kindliness. They said they respected him for 
acting so consistently with his own principles ; and 
if they held the same opinions, they should doubtless 
pursue the same course. 

This was a polite concession, but it was based on 
a false foundation ; for it assumed that it was a 
mere matter of opinion whether slavery were right 
or wrong ; whereas it is a palpable violation of im- 
mutable principles of justice. They might as well 
have made the same remark about murder or rob- 
bery, if they had lived where a selfish majority were 
strong enough to get those crimes sanctioned by law 
and custom. The Bedouin considers himself no rob- 
ber because he forcibly takes as much toll as he 
pleases from all who pass through the desert. His 
ancestors established the custom, and he is not one 
whit the less an Arab gentleman, because he perpe- 
tuates their peculiar institution. Perhaps he also 


would say that if he held the same opinions as more 
honest Mahometans, he would do as they do. In 
former days, custom made it honorable to steal a 
neighbor's cattle, on the Scottish border ; as many 
Americans now deem it respectable to take children 
from poor defenceless neighbors, and sell them like 
sheep in the market. Sir Walter Scott says play- 
inlly, "I have my quarters and emblazonments free 
of all stain but Border Theft and High Treason, 
which I hope are gentlemanlike crimes." Yet the 
stealing of cattle does not now seem a very noble 
achievement in the eyes of honorable Scotchmen 
How will the stealing of children, within bounds 
prescribed by law and custom, appear to future gene- 
rations of Americans ? 

A planter in Virginia, being pressed for money, 
sold one of his bondwomen, of sixteen years old, to 
a speculator who was buying up slaves for the mar- 
kets of the South and South-west. The girl was 
uncommonly handsome, with smooth hair, and a 
complexion as light as most white people. Her new 
owner, allured by her beauty, treated her with great 
kindness, and made many nattering promises. She 
understood his motives, and wished to escape from 
the degradation of such a destiny as he had in store 
for her. In order to conciliate her good will, he im- 


posed few restraints upon her. The liberty thus al- 
lowed gave her a favorable opportunity to abscond, 
which she did not fail to improve. She travelled to 
Philadelphia without encountering any difficulties on 
the road ; for her features and complexion excited 
no suspicion of her being a fugitive slave. She main- 
tained herself very comfortably by her own industry, 
and after a time married a light mulatto, who was a 
very sober industrious man. He was for many years 
employed by Joshua Humphreys, a ship-carpenter of 
great respectability in the District of Southwark. 
By united industry and frugality they were enabled 
to build a small house on a lot they had taken on 
ground rent. The furniture w T as simple, but ex- 
tremely neat, and all the floors were carpeted. Eve- 
ry thing indicated good management and domestic 

She had been in Philadelphia thirteen years, and 
was the mother ol a promising family, w r hen in 1808 she 
was arrested by her last master, as a fugitive slave. 
The Virginian who sold her, and tw 7 o other persons 
from the South, attended as witnesses. Isaac T. 
Hopper also attended, w r ith his trusty friend Thomas 
Harrison. When the witnesses were examined, her 
case appeared utterly hopeless ; and in private con- 
versation w T ith Friend Hopper she admitted that she 
was a slave to the man who claimed her. Mr Hum- 
phreys, pitying the distress of his honest, industrious 


workman, offered to advance one hundred dollars 
toward purchasing her freedom. But when Isaac 
T. Hopper and Thomas Harrison attempted to nego- 
tiate with the claimant for that purpose, he treated 
all their offers with the rudest contempt. They tried 
to work upon his feelings, by representing the misery 
he would inflict on her worthy husband and innocent 
children ; but he turned a deaf ear to all their entrea- 
ties. They finally offered to pay him four hundred 
dollars for a deed of manumission, which at that 
time w r as considered a very high price ; but he stop- 
ped all farther discussion by declaring, with a vio- 
lent oath, that he would not sell her on any terms. 
Of course, there was nothing to be done, but to 
await the issue of the trial. 

When the magistrate asked the woman w T hether 
she were a slave, Friend Hopper promptly objected 
to her answering that question, unless he would agree 
to receive as evidence all she might say. He de- 
clined doing that. Friend Hopper then made some 
remarks, in the course of which he said, " The most 
honest witnesses are often mistaken as to the identi- 
ty of persons. It surprises me that the witnesses in 
this case should be so very positive, wdien the wo- 
man was but sixteen years old at the time they say 
she eloped, and such a long period has since elapsed. 

The question at stake is as important as life itself 
to this woman, to her honest husband, and to her 


poor little innocent children. For my own part, 1 
conscientiously believe she has a just claim to her 

All this time, the woman stood holding her little 
girl and boy by the hand. She was deeply dejected, 
but her manners were as calm and dignified, as if 
she had been one of the best educated ladies in the 
land. The children were too young to understand 
the terrible doom that threatened their mother, but 
they perceived that their parents were in some great 
trouble, and the little creatures wept in sympathy. 

When Friend Hopper described this scene forty 
years afterward, he used to say, "I shall never for- 
get the anguish expressed in her handsome counte- 
nance, as she looked down upon her children. I see 
it as plainly as if it all happened yesterday." 

At the time, it was almost too much for his sym- 
pathizing heart to endure. He felt like moving hea- 
ven and earth to rescue her. The trial came on in 
the afternoon, and it happened that the presiding 
magistrate was accustomed to drink rather freely of 
wine after dinner. Friend Hopper perceived that 
his mental faculties were slightly confused, and that 
the claimant was a heavy, stupid-looking fellow. 
With these thoughts there suddenly flashed through 
his brain the plan of eluding an iniquitous law, in 
order to sustain a higher law of justice and humani- 
ty. He asked to have the case adjourned till the 


next day, that there might be further opportunity to 
inquire into it ; adding, ''Thomas Harrison and my- 
self will be responsible to the United States for this 
woman's appearance to-morrow. In case of forfei- 
ture, we will agree to pay any sum that may be 
deemed reasonable." 

The claimant felt perfectly sure of his prey, and 
made no objection to the proposed arrangement. It 
was accordingly entered on the docket that Thomas 
Harrison and Isaac T. Hopper were bound to the 
United States, in the sum of one thousand dollars, to 
produce the woman for further trial at nine o'clock 
the next morning. 

When Friend Hopper had obtained a copy of the 
recognizance, signed by the magistrate, he chuckled 
inwardly and marched out of the office. If there 
was a flaw in anything, Thomas Harrison had a jo- 
cose way of saying, "There is a hole in the ballad." 
As they went into the street together, his friend said, 
"Thomas, there's a hole in the ballad. The recog- 
nizance we have just signed is good for nothing. 
The United States have not the slightest claim upon 
that woman." 

The next morning, at nine o'clock all parties, ex- 
cept the woman, were at the mayor's office. After 
waiting for her about an hour, the magistrate said, 
"Well gentlemen, the woman does not make her 


appearance, and I shall be obliged to forfeit your 



"A thousand dollars is a large sum to lose," re- 
joined Friend Hopper. "But if it comes to the 
worst, I suppose we must make up our minds to pay 
the United States all the claim they have upon us." 

"The United States! The United States !" ex- 
claimed the magistrate quickly. He turned to look 
at his docket, and after a slight pause he said to the 
claimant, "There is difficulty here. You had better 
employ counsel." 

Thomas Boss, a respectable lawyer, who lived a 
few doors above, was summoned, and soon made his 
appearance. Having heard the particulars of the 
case briefly stated, he also examined the docket ; 
then turning to Isaac T. Hopper, with a comical ges- 
ture and tone, he exclaimed, "Eh !" To the claim- 
ant he said, " You must catch your slave again if 
you can ; for you can do nothing with these securi- 

Of course, the master was very angry, and so was 
the magistrate, who had inadvertently written the 
recognizance just as it was dictated to him. They 
charged Friend Hopper with playing a trick upon 
them, and threatened to prosecute him. He told 
them he had no fears concerning a prosecution ; and 
if he had played a trick, he thought it was better 


than to see a helpless woman torn from husband and 
children and sent into slavery. 

The magistrate asked, "How could you say you 
believed the woman had a right to her freedom ? 
You have brought forward no evidence whatever to 
prove your assertion." 

He replied, " I did not say I believed she had a 
legal right to her freedom. That she had a just 
right to it, I did believe ; for I think every human 
being has a just claim to freedom, unless guilty of 
some crime. The system of slavery is founded on 
the grossest and most manifest injustice." 

"It is sanctioned by the law of the land, answered 
the claimant ; " and you have no right to fly in the 
face of the laws." 

Friend Hopper contented himself with saying, "If 
I have broken any law, I stand ready to meet the 
consequences. But no law can make wrong right." 

The speculator spent several days in fruitless 
search after the fugitive. When he had relinquished 
all hopes of finding her, he called on Isaac T. Hop- 
per and offered to manumit her for four hundred dol- 
lars. He replied, "At one time, we would gladly 
have given that sum ; but now the circumstances of 
the case are greatly changed, and we cannot consent 
to give half that amount." After considerable con- 
troversy he finally agreed to take one hundred and 
fifty dollars. The money was paid, and the deed of 


manumission made out in due form. At parting, the 
claimant said, with a very bitter smile, "I hope I 
may live to see you south of the Potomac some 

Friend Hopper replied, "Thou hadst better go 
home and repent of sins already committed, instead 
of meditating the commission of more." 

When telling this story in after years, he was 
wont to say, "I am aware that some will disapprove 
of the part I acted in that case ; because they will 
regard it as inconsistent with the candor which men 
ought always to practice toward each other. I can 
only say that my own conscience has never con- 
demned me for it. I could devise no other means to 
save the poor victim." 

Before we decide to blame Friend Hopper more 
than he blamed himself in this matter, it would be 
well to imagine how we ourselves should have felt, if 
we had been witnesses of the painful scene, instead 
of reading it in cool blood, after a lapse of years. If 
a handsome and modest woman stood before us with 
her weeping little ones, asking permission to lead a 
quiet and virtuous life, and a pitiless law was about 
to tear her from husband and children and consign 
her to the licentious tyrant from whom she had es- 
caped, should we not be strongly tempted to evade 
such a law by any means that offered at the mo- 
ment ? 


It would be wiser to expend our moral indignation 
on statesmen who sanction and sustain laws so wick- 
ed, that just and kind-hearted citizens are compelled 
either to elude them, or to violate their own honest 
convictions and the best emotions of their hearts. 


In the year of 1808 a Southerner arrested a fugi- 
tive slave in Philadelphia and committed him to pri- 
son. When he called for him, with authority to 
take him back to the South, the poor fellow seemed 
dreadfully distressed. He told the keeper that his 
master was very severe, and he knew that terrible 
sufferings awaited him if he was again placed in his 
power. He hesitated long before he followed the 
keeper to the iron gate, through which he was to 
pass out of prison. When he saw his oppressor 
standing there with fetters in his hand, ready to take 
him away, he stopped and pleaded in the most pite- 
ous tones for permission to find a purchaser in Phila- 
delphia. His owner took not the slightest notice of 
these humble entreaties, but in a peremptory manner 
ordered him to come out. The slave trembled all 
over, and said in the fainting accents of despair, 
"Master, I carCt go with you !" 

" Come out, you black rascal !" exclaimed the in- 
exorable tyrant. " Come out immediately !" 


The poor wretch advanced timidly a few steps, 
then turned back suddenly, as if overcome with mor- 
tal fear. The master became very impatient, and in 
angry vociferous tones commanded the keeper to 
bring him out by force. 

All this time, the keeper had stood with his hand 
on the key of the iron door, very reluctant to open 
it. But at last he unlocked it, and told the. poor ter- 
rified creature that he must go. He rushed to the 
door in the frenzy of desperation, gazed in his mas- 
ter's face for an instant, then flew back, took a sharp 
knife, which he had concealed about him, and drew 
it across his throat with such force, that he fell 
senseless near his master's feet, spattering his gar- 
ments with blood. All those who witnessed this 
awful scene, supposed the man was dead. Dr. 
Church, physician of the prison, examined the wound, 
and said there was scarcely a possibility that he 
could survive, though the wind-pipe was not entirely 
separated. But even the terrible admonition of that 
ghastly spectacle produced no relenting feelings in 
the hard heart of the slaveholder. He still demand- 
ed to have his victim delivered up to him. When 
the keeper declined doing it, and urged the reason 
that the physician said he could not be moved with- 
out imminent danger to his life, the brutal tyrant ex- 
claimed, " Damn him ! He's my property ; and I 


will have him, dead or alive. If he dies, it's no- 
body's loss but mine." 

As he had the mayor's warrant for taking him, 
the keeper dared not incur the responsibility of diso- 
beying his requisitions. He convened the inspectors 
for consultation ; and they all agreed that any at- 
tempt to remove the wounded man would render 
them accessory to his death. They laid the case 
before the mayor, who ordered that the prisoner 
should remain undisturbed till the physician pro- 
nounced him out of danger. When the master was 
informed of this, he swore that nobody had any right 
to interfere between him and his property. He curs- 
ed the mayor, threatened to prosecute the keeper, 
and was in a furious rage with every body. 

Meanwhile, the sympathy of Isaac T. Hopper was 
strongly excited in the case, and he obtained a pro- 
mise from the physician that he would let him know 
if there was any chance that the slave would recov- 
er. Contrary to all expectation, he lingered along 
day after day ; and in about a week, the humane 
physician signified to Friend Hopper, and Joseph 
Price, one of the inspectors, that a favorable result 
might now be anticipated. Of course, none of them 
considered it a duty to inform the master of their 
hopes. They undertook to negotiate for the pur- 
chase of the prisoner, and obtained him for a mode- 
rate price. The owner was fully impressed with the 


belief that he would die before long, and therefore 
regarded the purchase of him as a mere freak of hu- 
manity, by which he was willing enough to profit. 
When he heard soon afterward that the doctor pro- 
nounced him out of danger, he was greatly enraged. 
But his suffering victim was beyond the reach of his 
fury, which vented itself in harmless execrations. 

The colored man lived many years, to enjoy the 
liberty for which he had been willing to sacrifice his 
life. He was a sober, honest, simple-hearted person, 
and always conducted in a manner entirely satis- 
factory to those who had befriended him in his hour 
of utmost need. 


Early in the year of 1808, a Frenchman arrived 
in Philadelphia from one of the West India Islands, 
bringing with him a slave, whom he took before one 
of the aldermen, and had him bound to serve him 
seven years in Virginia. When the indenture was 
executed, he committed his bondman to prison, for 
safe-keeping, until he was ready to leave the city. 
One of the keepers informed Isaac T. Hopper of the 
circumstance, and told him the slave was to be car- 
ried South the next morning. 

Congress had passed an Act prohibiting the im- 
portation of slaves, which was to begin to take effect 
at the commencement of the year 1808. It imme- 


diately occurred to Friend Hopper that the present 
case came within the act ; and if so, the colored 
man was of course legally entitled to freedom. In 
order to detain him till he could examine the law, 
and take advice on the suhject, he procured a war- 
rant for debt and lodged it at the prison, telling the 
keeper not to let the colored man go till he had paid 
his demand of a hundred dollars. 

When the Frenchman called for his slave next 
morning, they refused to discharge him ; and he ob- 
tained a writ of habeas corpus, to bring the case be- 
fore the mayor's court. Friend Hopper was informed 
that the slave was on trial, that the Recorder did not 
think it necessary to notify him, and had made very 
severe remarks concerning the fictitious debt assum- 
ed for the occasion. He proceeded directly to the 
court, which was thronged with people, who watched 
him with lively curiosity, and made a lane for him to 
pass through. Mahlon Dickinson, the Recorder, was 
in the act of giving his decision on the case, and he 
closed his remarks by saying, "The conduct of Mr. 
Hopper has been highly reprehensible. The man is 
not his debtor ; and the pretence that he was so 
could have been made for no other reason but to 
cause unnecessary delay, vexation, and expense." 
The lawyers smiled at each other, and seemed not a 
little pleased at hearing him so roughly rebuked ; for 
many of them had been more or less annoyed by his 


skill and ready wit in tangling their skein, in cases 
where questions of freedom were involved. Friend 
Hopper stood before the Recorder, looking him 
steadfastly in the face, while he was making animad- 
versions on his conduct ; and when he had finished, 
he respectfully asked leave to address the court for 
a few minutes. 

"Well, Mr. Hopper," said the Recorder, "what 
have you to say in justification of your very extra- 
ordinary proceedings ?" 

He replied, " It is true the man is not my debtor , 
but the court has greatly erred in supposing that the 
step I have taken was merely intended to produce 
unnecessary delay and expense. The Recorder will 
doubtless recollect that Congress has passed an act 
prohibiting the introduction of foreign slaves into 
this country. It is my belief that the case now be- 
fore the court is embraced within the provisions of 
that act. But I needed time to ascertain the point ; 
and 1 assumed that the man was my debtor merely 
to detain him until the Act of Congress could be 

Jared Ingersoll, an old and highly respectable law- 
yer, rose to say, "May it please your honors, I be- 
lieve Mr. Hopper is correct in his opinion. A Na- 
tional Intelligencer containing the Act of Congress 
is at my office, and I will send for it if you wish." 
The paper was soon brought, and Friend Hopper 


read aloud the section which Mr. Ingersoll pointed 
out ; placing strong emphasis on such portions as 
bore upon the case then pending. When he had 
concluded, he observed, "I presume the court must 
now be convinced that the censures so liberally be- 
stowed on my conduct are altogether unmerited." 

The counsel for the claimant said a newspaper 
was not legal evidence of the existence of a law. 
Friend Hopper replied, " The court is well aware 
that I am no lawyer. But I have heard lawyers 
talk about prima facie evidence ; and I should sup- 
pose the National Intelligencer amounted at least to 
that sort of evidence, for it is the acknowledged or- 
gan of government, in which the laws are published 
for the information of citizens. But if that is not 
satisfactory, I presume the court will detain the man 
until an authenticated copy of the law can be obtain- 

After some discussion, the court ordered a copy of 
the law to be procured. ; but the attorney abandoned 
the case, and the slave was set at liberty. 

As soon as this decision was announced, the throng 
of spectators, white and colored, began to shout, 
"Hurra for Mr. Hopper!" The populace were so 
accustomed to see him come off victorious from such 
contests, that they began to consider his judgment 

Many years afterward, when Friend Hopper met 


Mahlon Dickinson on board a steam-boat, he inquired 
whether he recollected the scolding he gave him on 
a certain occasion. He replied pleasantly, " Indeed 
I do. I thought I had you that time, and I intended 
to give it to you ; but you slipped through my fin- 
gers, as usual." 


In the year 1809, a gentleman from East New- 
Jersey visited Philadelphia, and brought a young slave 
to wait upon him. When they had been in that city 
four or five months, the lad called upon Isaac T. 
Hopper to inquire whether his residence in Philadel- 
phia had made him free. He was informed that he 
would not have a legal claim to freedom till he had 
been there six months. Just as the term expired, 
somebody told the master that the laws of Pennsyl- 
vania conferred freedom on slaves under such cir- 
cumstances. He had been ignorant of the fact, or 
had forgotten it, and as soon as he received the in- 
formation he became alarmed lest he should lose his 
locomotive property. He sent for a constable, who 
came to his door with a carriage. The lad had just 
come up from the cellar with an armful of wood. 
When he entered the parlor, the constable ordered 
him to put it down and go with him. He threw the 
wood directly at the legs of the officer, and ran down 
cellar full speed, slamming the door after him. As 


soon as the constable could recover from the blow 
he had received, he followed the lad into the cellar ; 
but he had escaped by another door, and gone to 
Isaac T. Hopper. 

It was snowing fast, and when he arrived there in 
his shirt sleeves, his black wool plentifully powdered 
with snow, he was a laughable object to look upon. 
But his countenance showed that he was too tho- 
roughly frightened and distressed to be a subject of 
mirth to any compassionate heart. Friend Hopper 
tried to comfort him by promising that he would pro- 
tect him, and assuring him that he was now legally 
free. His agitation subsided in a short time, and he 
began to laugh heartily to think how he had upset 
the constable. The master soon came to Friend 
Hopper's house, described the lad's dress and appear- 
ance, and inquired whether he had seen him. He 
admitted that he had, but declined telling where he 
was. The master made some severe remarks about 
the meanness of tampering with gentlemen's ser- 
vants, and went away. In about half an hour he re- 
turned with the constable and said Alderman Kepler 
desired his respects to Isaac T. Hopper, and wished 
to see him at his office. He replied, "I think it 
likely that Alderman Kepler has not much more re- 
spect for me than I have for him. If he has more 
business with me than I have with him, I am at 
home, and can be spoken with." 


The master went away, but soon returned with 
two constables and a lawyer, who was very clamor- 
ous in his threats of what would be the consequences 
if the slave was not at once surrendered to the gen- 
tleman. One of the officers said he had a warrant 
to search the house. "Very well," replied Friend 
Hopper, "execute it." 

v "I have great respect for you," rejoined the offi- 
cer. "I should be sorry to search your house by 
virtue of the warrant. I hope you will consent to 
my doing so without." 

"There is no need of delicacy on this occasion," 
replied Friend Hopper. "Thou hadst better pro- 
ceed to the extent of thy authority." 

"You give your consent, do you?" inquired the 

He answered, "No, I do not. If thou hast a war- 
rant, of course my consent is not necessary. Pro- 
ceed to the full extent of thy authority. But if thou 
goest one inch beyond, thou wilt have reason to re- 
pent of it." 

The party left the house utterly discomfited. He 
afterward learned that they had applied for a search- 
warrant, but could not procure one. 

The first step in the process of securing the lad's 
freedom was to obtain proof that he had been in 
Philadelphia six months. The landlord of the hotel 
where the master lodged, refused to say anything on 


the subject, being unwilling to offend his lodger. 
But the servants were under no such prudential re- 
straint ; and from them Friend Hopper obtained tes- 
timony sufficient for his purpose. He then wrote a 
note to the alderman that he would be at his office 
with the lad at nine o'clock next morning, and re- 
questing him to inform the claimant. In the mean 
time, he procured a writ of habeas corpus, to have it 
in readiness in case circumstances required it. The 
claimant made his appearance at the appointed hour, 
and stated how he had come to Philadelphia on a 
visit, and brought a slave to attend upon him. He 
descanted quite largely upon the courtesy due from 
citizens of one state to those of another state. 

Friend Hopper was about to reply, when the 
magistrate interrupted him by saying, "I shall not 
interfere with the citizens of other states. I shall 
surrender the boy to his master. If he thinks he has 
a legal claim to his freedom, let him prosecute it in 

Friend Hopper said nothing, but gave a signal to 
have the writ served. The magistrate was highly 
offended, and asked in an angry tone, "What was 
your object in procuring a writ of habeas corpus ?" 

Friend Hopper replied, -From my knowledge of 
thee, I anticipated the result that has just occurred; 
and I determined to remove the case to a tribunal 


where I had confidence that justice would be done 
in the premises." 

The Court of Common Pleas was then in session. 
The case was brought before it the next day, and 
after the examination of two or three witnesses, the 
lad was declared free. 


In 1810, a slave escaped from Virginia to Phila- 
delphia. In a few months, his master heard where 
he was, and caused him to be arrested. He was a 
fine looking young man, apparently about thirty 
years old. When he was brought before Alderman 
Shoemaker, that magistrate's sympathy was so much 
excited, that he refused to try the case unless some 
one was present to defend the slave. Isaac T. Hop- 
per was accordingly sent for. When he had heard 
a statement of the case, he asked the agent of the 
slaveholder to let him examine the Power of Attor- 
ney by which he had been authorized to arrest a 
"fugitive from labor," and carry him to Virginia. 
The agent denied his right to interfere, but Alder- 
man Shoemaker informed him that Mr. Hopper was 
a member of the Emancipation Society, and had a 
right to be satisfied. 

The Power of Attorney was correctly drawn, and 
had been acknowledged in Washington, before Bush- 
rod Washington, one of the judges of the Supreme 


Court of the United States. Friend Hopper's keen 
eye could detect no available flaw in it. When the 
agent had been sworn to answer truly all questions 
relating to the case, he inquired whether the fugitive 
he was in search of had been advertised; if so, he 
wished to see the advertisement. It was handed to 
him,. and he instantly noticed that it was headed 
"Sixty Dollars Reward." 

"Art thou to receive sixty dollars for apprehend- 
ing the man mentioned in this advertisement?" said 

The agent replied, " I am to receive that sum pro- 
vided I take him home to Virginia." 

"How canst thou prove that the man thou hast 
arrested is the one here advertised ? " inquired he. 

The agent answered that he could swear to the 

"That may be," rejoined Friend Hopper; "but in 
Philadelphia we do not allow any person, especially 
a stranger, to swear sixty dollars into his own 
pocket, Unless there is better evidence than thy 
oath, the man must be set at liberty." 

The agent became extremely irritated, and said 
indignantly, "Do you think I would swear to a 

"Thou art a stranger to me," replied Friend Hop- 
per. "I don't know whether thou wouldst swear 


falsely or not. But there is one thing I do know ; 
and that is, I am not willing to trust thee." 

The agent reiterated, "I know the man standing 
there as well as I know any man living. I am per- 
fectly sure he is the slave described in the adver- 
tisement. I was overseer for the gentleman who 
owns him. If you examine his back, you will find 
scars of the whip." 

"And perhaps thou art the man who made the 
scars, if he has any," rejoined the Friend. 

Without replying to this suggestion, the slave- 
hunter ordered the colored man to strip, that his 
back might be examined by the court. Friend 
Hopper objected to such a proceeding. "Thou hast 
produced no evidence that the man thou hast arrested 
is a slave," said he. "Thou and he are on the same 
footing before this court. We have as good a right 
to examine thy back, as we have to examine his." 
He added, with a very significant tone, "In some 
places, they whip for kidnapping." 

This remark put the slave-hunter in a violent 
rage. The magistrate decided that his evidence 
was not admissible, on the ground that he was in- 
terested. He then proposed to summon two wit- 
nesses from a Virginian vessel lying at one of the 

"Of course thou art at liberty to go for witnesses," 
replied Friend Hopper. "But I appeal to the ma- 


gistrate to discharge this man. Under present cir- 
cumstances, he ought not to be detained a single 
moment." The alderman needed no urging on that 
point. He very promptly discharged the prisoner. 
As soon as he Jeft the office, the slave-hunter siezed 
hold of him, and swore he would keep him till wit- 
nesses were brought. But Friend Hopper walked 
up to him, and said in his resolute way, "Let go thy 
hold ! or I will take such measures as will make 
thee repent of thy rashness. How darest thou lay a 
finger upon the "man after the magistrate has dis- 
charged him ?" 

Thus admonished, he reluctlantly relinquished his 
grasp, and went off swearing vengeance against "the 
meddlesome Quaker." 

Friend Hopper hastened home w r ith the colored 
man, and wrote a brief letter to his friend William 
Reeve, in New-Jersey, concluding with these w T ords : 
"Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done 
it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done 
it unto me." This letter was given to the fugitive 
with directions how to proceed. His friend accom- 
panied him to the ferry, saw him safely across the 
river, and then returned home. 

In an hour or two the slave-hunter came to the 
house, accompanied by a constable and two wit- 
nesses from Virginia. "The slave I arrested was 


seen to come here," said he. "Where is he? Pro- 
duce him." 

Friend Hopper replied very quietly, "The man 
has been here ; but he is gone now." 

This answer made the agent perfectly furious. 
After discharging a volley of oaths, he said he had a 
search warrant, and swore he would have the house 
searched from garret to cellar. "Very well," re- 
plied Friend Hopper, "thou art at liberty to proceed 
according to law; but be careful not to overstep 
that boundary. If thou dost, it will be at thy peril." 

After the slave-hunter had vented his rage in a 
torrent of abuse, the constable proposed to speak a 
few words in private. With many friendly profes- 
sions, he acknowledged that they had no search- 
warrant. "The gentleman was about to obtain one 
from the mayor," said he; "but I wished to save 
your feelings. I told him you were well acquainted 
with me, and I had no doubt you would permit 
me to search your house without any legal pro- 

Friend Hopper listened patiently, perfectly well 
aware that the whole statement was a sham. When 
the constable paused for a reply, he opened the door, 
and said very concisely, "Thou art at liberty to go 
about thy business." 

They spent several days searching for the fugitive, 
but their efforts were unavailing. 



A woman, who was born too early to derive benefit 
from the gradual emancipation law of Pennsylvania, 
escaped from bondage in Lancaster County to Phila- 
delphia. There she married a free colored man by 
the name of Abraham Morris. They lived together 
very comfortably for several years, and seemed to 
enjoy life as much as many of their more wealthy 
neighbors. But in the year 1810, it unfortunately 
happened that Siary's master ascertained where she 
lived, and sent a man to arrest her, with directions 
either to sell her, or bring her back to him. 

Abraham Morris was a very intelligent, industrious 
man, and had laid up some money. He offered one 
hundred and fifty dollars of his earnings to purchase 
the freedom of his wife. The sum was accepted, 
and the parties applied to Daniel Bussier, a magis- 
trate in the District of Southwark, to draw up a deed 
of manumission. The money was paid, and the deed 
given ; but the agent employed to sell the woman 
absconded with the money. The master, after wait- 
ing several months and not hearing from him, sent 
to Philadelphia and caused Mary Morris to be ar- 
rested again. She was taken to the office of Daniel 
Bussier, and notwithstanding he had witnessed her 
deed of manumission a few months before, he com- 
mitted her to prison as a fugitive slave. When her 


husband called upon Isaac T. Hopper and related all 
the circumstances, he thought there must be some 
mistake ; for he could not believe that any magis- 
trate would be so unjust and arbitrary, as to commit 
a woman to prison as a fugitive, when he had seen 
the money paid for her ransom, and the deed of 
manumission given. He went to Mr. Bussier imme- 
diately, and very civilly told him that he had called 
to make inquiry concerning a colored woman com- 
mitted to prison as a fugitive slave on the evening 

" Go out of my office !" said the undignified magis- 
trate. "I want nothing to do with you." 

He replied, "I come here as the friend and advi- 
ser of the woman's husband. My request is rea- 
sonable, and I trust thou wilt not refuse it." 

In answer to this appeal, Mr. Bussier merely re- 
peated, " Go out of my office !" 

Friend Hopper offered him half a dollar, saying, 
" I want an extract from thy docket. • Here is the 
lawful fee." 

All this time, Mr. Bussier had been under the 
hands of a barber, who was cutting his hair. He 
became extremely irritated, and said, " If you won't 
leave this office, I will put you out, as soon as I have 
taken the seat of justice." 

" I wish thou wouldst take the seat of justice," 
replied Friend Hopper; "for then I should obtain 


what I want ; but if thou dost, I apprehend it will be 
for the first time." 

Mr. Bussier sprang hastily from his chair, and 
seated himself at the magisterial desk, which was 
raised about a foot from the floor, and surrounded by 
a railing. Conceiving himself now armed with the 
thunders of the law, he called out, in tones of autho- 
rity, "Mr. Hopper, I command you to quit this of- 
fice !" 

The impassive Quaker stood perfectly still, and 
pointing to Abraham Morris, he again tendered the 
half dollar, saying, "I want an extract from thy 
docket, in the case of this man's wife. Here is the 
lawful fee for it. Please give it to me." 

This quiet perseverance deprived the excited magis- 
trate of what little patience he had left. He took 
the importunate petitioner by the shoulders, pushed 
him into the street, and shut the door. 

Friend Hopper then applied to Jacob Rush, Presi- 
dent of the Court of Common Pleas for a writ of ha- 
beas corpus. The woman was brought before him, 
and when he had heard the particulars of the case, 
and examined her deed of manumission, he immedi- 
ately discharged her, to the great joy of herself and 

Friend Hopper thought it might be a useful lesson 
for Mr. Bussier to learn that his "little brief authori- 
ty" had boundaries which could not be passed with 


impunity. He accordingly had htm indicted for as 
sault and battery. He and his political friends were 
a good deal ashamed of his conduct, and finally, af- 
ter many delays in bringing on the trial, and various 
attempts to hush up the matter, Mr. Bussier called 
upon Friend Hopper te say that he deeply regretted 
the course he had pursued. His apology was readily 
accepted, and the case dismissed ; he agreeing to 
pay the costs. 


Cassy was slave to a merchant in Baltimore, by 
the name of Claggett. She had reason to believe 
that her master was about to sell her to a speculator, 
who was making up a coffle for the markets of the 
far South. The terror felt in view of such a pros- 
pect can be understood by slaves only. She resolved 
to escape ; and watching a favorable opportunity, she 
succeeded in reaching the neighborhood of Haddon- 
field, New-Jersey. There she obtained service in a 
very respectable family. She was honest, steady, 
and industrious, and made many friends by her 
cheerful, obliging manners. But her heart was never 
at rest ; for she had left in Baltimore a babe little 
more than a year old. She had not belonged to an 
unusually severe master ; but she had experienced 
quite enough of the sufferings of slavery to dread it 
for her child. Her thoughts dwelt so much on this 


painful subject, that her naturally cheerful character 
became extremely saddened. She at last determined 
to make a bold effort to save her little one from the 
liability of being sold, like a calf or pig in the sham- 
bles. She went to see Isaac T. Hopper and com- 
municated to him her plan. He tried to dissuade 
her ; for he considered the project extremely danger- 
ous, and well nigh hopeless. But the mother's heart 
yearned for her babe, and the incessant longing 
stimulated her courage to incur all hazards. To 
Baltimore she went ; her pulses throbbing hard and 
fast, with the double excitement of hope and fear. 
She arrived safely, and went directly to the house of 
a colored family, old friends of hers, in whom she 
could confide with perfect safety. To her great joy, 
she found that they approved her plan, and were 
ready to assist her. Arrangements were soon made 
to convey the child to a place about twenty miles 
from Baltimore, where it would be well taken care 
of, till the mother could find a safe opportunity to 
remove it to New-Jersey. 

Before she had time to take all the steps necessa- 
ry to insure success in this undertaking, her master 
was informed of her being in the city, and sent con- 
stables in pursuit of her. Luckily, her friends were 
apprized of this in season to give her warning ; and 
her own courage and ingenuity proved adequate to 

the emergency. She disguised herself in sailor's 



clothes, and walked boldly to the Philadelphia boat. 
There she walked up and down the deck, with her 
arms folded, smoking a cigar, and occasionally pass- 
ing and repassing the constables who had been sent 
on board in search of her. These men, having 
watched till the last moment for the arrival of a co- 
lored woman answering to her description, took their 
departure. The boat started, and brought the coura- 
geous mother safely to Philadelphia, where Friend 
Hopper and others rejoiced over the history of her 
hair-breadth escape. 

A few weeks after, she went to the place where 
her child had been left, and succeeded in bringing it 
safely away. For a short time, her happiness seem- 
ed to be complete ; but when the first flush of joy 
and thankfulness had subsided, she began to be 
harassed with continual fears lest she and her child 
should be arrested in some evil hour, and carried 
back into slavery. By unremitting industry, and 
very strict economy, she strove to lay by money 
enough to purchase their freedom. She had made 
friends by her good conduct and obliging ways, while 
her maternal affection and enterprising character ex- 
cited a good deal of interest among those acquainted 
with her history. Donations were occasionally added 
to her earnings, and a sum was soon raised sufficient 
to accomplish her favorite project. Isaac T. Hop- 
per entered into negotiation with her master, and sue- 


ceeded in obtaining manumission for her and her 


A slave escaped from Colonel Ridgeley, who resid- 
ed in the southern part of Virginia. He went to 
Philadelphia, and remained there undiscovered for 
several years. But he was never quite free from 
anxiety, lest in some unlucky hour, he should be ar- 
rested and carried back to bondage. When he had 
laid up some money, he called upon Isaac T. Hop- 
per to assist him in buying the free use of his own 
limbs. A negotiation was opened with Col. Ridge- 
ley, who agreed to take two hundred dollars for the 
fugitive, and appointed a time to come to Philadel- 
phia to arrange the business. But instead of keep- 
ing his agreement honorably, he went to that city 
several weeks before the specified time, watched for 
his bondman, seized him, and conveyed him to 
Friend Hopper's office. When the promised two 
hundred dollars were offered, he refused to accept 

" Why, that is the sum thou hast agreed upon," 
said Friend Hopper. 

"I know that," replied the Colonel ; "but I won't 
take it now. He was the best servant I ever had. 
I can sell him for one thousand dollars in Virginia. 


Under present circumstances, I will take five hun- 
dred dollars for him, and not one cent less." 

After considerable discussion, Friend Hopper urged 
him to allow his bondman until ten o'clock next 
morning, to see what could be done among his 
friends ; and he himself gave a written obligation 
that the man should be delivered up to him at that 
hour, in case he could not procure five hundred dol- 
lars to purchase his freedom. 

When the master was gone, Friend Hopper said 
to the alarmed fugitive, "There now remains but 
one way for thee to obtain thy freedom. As to rais- 
ing five hundred dollars, that is out of the question. 
But if thou wilt be prompt and resolute, and do pre- 
cisely as I tell thee, I think thou canst get off safe- 

"I will do anything for freedom," replied the 
bondman ; "for 1 have made up my mind, come what 
may, that I never will go back into slavery." 

"Very well then," rejoined his friend. "Don't get 
frightened when the right moment comes to act ; but 
keep thy wits about thee, and do as I tell thee. Thy 
master will come here to-morrow at ten o'clock, ac- 
cording to appointment. I must deliver thee up to 
him, and receive back the obligation for one thou- 
sand dollars, which I have given him. Do thou 
stand with thy back against the door, which opens 
from this room into the parlor. When he has re- 


turned the paper to me, open the door quickly, lock 
it on the inside, and run through the parlor into the 
back-yard. There is a wall there eight feet high, 
with spikes at the top. Thou wilt find a clothes- 
horse leaning against it, to help thee up. When 
thou hast mounted, kick the clothes-horse down be- 
hind thee, drop on the other side of the wall, and be 
off." The premises were then shown to him, and he 
received minute directions through what alleys and 
streets he had better pass, and at what house he 
could find a temporary refuge. 

Col. Ridgeley came the next morning, at the ap- 
pointed hour, and brought a friend to stand sentinel 
at the street door, lest the slave should attempt to 
rush out. It did not occur to him that there was 
any danger of his running in. 

"We have not been able to raise the five hundred 
dollars," said Friend Hopper ; "and here is thy man, 
according to agreement." 

The Colonel gave back his obligation for one 
thousand dollars ; and the instant it left his hand, 
the fugitive passed into the parlor. The master 
sprang over the counter after him, but found the 
door locked. Before he could get to the back yard 
by another door, the wall was scaled, the clothes- 
horse thrown down, and the fugitive was beyond his 
reach. Of course, he returned very much disap- 
pointed and enraged ; declaring his firm belief that a 


trick had been played upon him purposely. After 
he had given vent to his anger some little time, 
Friend Hopper asked for a private interview with 
him. When they were alone together in the parlor, 
he said, "I admit this was an intentional trick; but 
I had what seemed to me good reasons for resorting 
to it. In the first place, thou didst not keep the 
agreement made with me, but sought to gain an un- 
fair advantage. In the next place, I knew that man 
was thy own son ; and I think any person who is so 
unfeeling as to make traffic of his own flesh and 
blood, deserves to be tricked out of the chance to do 

"What if he is my son?" rejoined the Virginian. 
" I've as good a right to sell my own flesh and blood 
as that of any other person. If I choose to do it, it 
is none of your business." He opened the dooi, and 
beckoning to his friend, who was in waiting, he said, 
" Hopper admits this was all a trick to set the slave 
free." Then turning to Friend Hopper, he added, 
"You admit it was a trick, don't you ?" 

"Thou and \ will talk that matter over by our- 
selves," he replied. "The presence of a third person 
is not always convenient." 

The Colonel went off in a violent passion, and 
forgetting that he was not in Virginia, he rushed into 
the houses of several colored people, knocked them 
about, overturned their beds, and broke their furni- 


ture, in search of the fugitive. Being unable to ob- 
tain any information concerning him, he cooled down 
considerably, and went to inform Friend Hopper that 
he would give a deed of manumission for two hun- 
dred dollars ; but his offer was rejected. 

" Why that was your own proposal !" vociferated 
the Colonel. 

"Very true," he replied ; "and I offered thee th& 
money ; but thou refused to take it." 

After storming awhile, the master went off to ob- 
tain legal advice from the Hon. John Sergeant. 
Meanwhile, several of the colored people had entered 
a complaint against him for personal abuse, and dam- 
age done to their furniture. He was obliged to give 
bonds for his appearance at the next court, to answer 
their accusations. This was a grievous humiliation 
for a proud Virginian, w 7 ho had been educated to 
think that colored people had no civil rights. In 
this unpleasant dilemma, his lawyer advised him to 
give a deed of manumission for one hundred and fifty 
dollars ; promising to exert his influence to have the 
mortifying suits withdrawn. 

The proposed terms were accepted, and the money 
promptly paid by the slave from his own earnings. 
But when Mr. Sergeant proposed that the suits for 
assault and battery should be withdrawn, Friend 
Hopper replied, "I have no authority to dismiss 


"They will be dismissed if you advise it," rejoined 
the lawyer; "and if you will promise to do it, I 
shall be perfectly satisfied." 

"These colored people have been very badly treat- 
ed," answered Friend Hopper. "If the aggressor 
wants to settle the affair, he had better go to them 
and offer some equivolent for the trouble he has 

The lawyer replied, "When he agreed to manu- 
mit the man for one hundred and fifty dollars, he ex- 
pected these suits would be dismissed, of course, as 
a part of the bargain. What sum do you think these 
people will take to withdraw them ?" 

Friend Hopper said he thought they would do it 
for one hundred and fifty dollars. 

"I will pay it," replied Mr. Sergeant ; "for Colonel 
Ridgeley is very anxious to return home." 

Thus the money paid for the deed of manumission 
was returned. Forty dollars were distributed among 
the colored people, to repay the damage done to 
their property. After some trifling incidental expen- 
ses had been deducted, the remainder was returned 
to the emancipated slave ; who thus obtained his 
freedom for about fifty dollars, instead of the sum 
originally offered. 



About the year 1826, a Marylander, by the name 
of Solomon Low, arrested a fugitive slave in Phila- 
delphia, and took him to the office of an alderman to 
obtain the necessary authority for carrying him back 
into bondage. Finding the magistrate gone to din- 
ner, they placed the colored man in the entry, while 
Mr. Low and his companions guarded the door. 
Some of the colored people soon informed Isaac T. 
Hopper of these circumstances, and he hastened to 
the office. Observing the state of things there, he 
concluded it would be no difficult matter to give the 
colored man a chance to escape. He stepped up to 
the men at the door, and demanded in a peremptory 
manner by what authority they were holding that 
man in duress. Mr. Low replied, "He is my slave." 

" This is strange conduct," rejoined Friend Hop- 
per. "Who can tell whether he is thy slave or not ? 
What proof is there that you are not a band of kid- 
nappers ? Dost thou suppose the laws of Pennsyl- 
vania tolerate such proceedings ?" 

These charges arrested the attention of Mr. Low 
and his companions, who turned round to answer the 
speaker. The slave, seeing their backs toward him 
for an instant, seized that opportunity to rush out ; 
and he had run two or three rods before they missed 
him. They immediately raised the cry of " Stop 


Thief! Stop Thief!" An Irishman, who joined in 
the pursuit, arrested the fugitive and brought him 
back to his master. 

Friend Hopper remonstrated with him ; saymg, 
"The man is not a thief. They claim him for a 
slave, and he was running for liberty. How wouldst 
thou like to be made a slave ?" 

The kind-hearted Hibernian replied, "Then they 
lied ; for they said he was a thief. If he is a slave, 
I'm sorry I stopped him. However, I will put him 
in as good a condition as I found him." So saying, 
he went near the man who had the fugitive in custo- 
dy, and seized him by the collar with a sudden jerk, 
that threw him on the pavement. The slave instant- 
ly started, and ran at his utmost speed, again follow- 
ed by the cry of "Stop Thief!" Having run some 
distance, and being nearly out of breath, he darted 
into the shop of a watch-maker, named Samuel Ma- 
son, who immediately closed and fastened his door, 
so that the crowd could not follow him. The fugi- 
tive passed out of the back door, and was never af- 
terward recaptured. 

The disappointed master brought an action against 
Samuel Mason for rescuing his slave. Charles J. 
Ingersoll and his brother Joseph, two accomplished 
lawyers of Philadelphia, conducted the trial for him, 
with zeal and ingenuity worthy of a better cause. 
Isaac T. Hopper was summoned as a witness, and in 


the course of examination he was asked what course 
members of the Society of Friends adopted when a 
fugitive slave came to them. He replied, " I am not 
willing to answer for any one but myself." 

"Well," said Mr. Ingersoll, "what would you do 
in such a case ? Would you deliver him to his mas- 

" Indeed I would not !" answered the Friend. 
" My conscience would not permit me to do it. It 
would be a great crime ; because it would be diso- 
bedience to my own dearest convictions of right. I 
should never expect to enjoy an hour of peace after- 
ward. I would do for a fugitive slave whatever I 
should like to have done for mvself, under similar 
circumstances. If he asked my protection, I would 
extend it to him to the utmost of my power. If he 
was hungry, I would feed him. If he was naked, I 
would clothe him. If he needed advice, I would 
give such as I thought would be most beneficial to 

The cause was tried before Judge Bushrod Wash- 
ington, nephew of General Washington. Though a 
slaveholder himself, he manifested no partiality dur- 
ing the trial, which continued several days, with able 
arguments on both sides. The counsel for the claim- 
ant maintained that Samuel Mason prevented the 
master from regaining his slave, by shutting his door, 
and refusing to open it. The counsel for the defen- 


dant replied that there was much valuable and brit- 
tle property in the watchmaker's shop, which would 
have been liable to robbery and destruction, if a pro- 
miscuous mob had been allowed to rush in. Judge 
Washington summed up the evidence very clearly 
to the jury, who after retiring for deliberation a 
considerable time, returned into court, declaring that 
they could not agree upon a verdict, and probably 
never should agree. They were ordered out again, 
and kept together till the court adjourned, when 
they were dismissed. 

At the succeeding term, the case was tried again, 
with renewed energy and zeal. But the jury, after 
being kept together ten days, were discharged with- 
out being able to agree upon a verdict. Some, who 
were originally in favor of the defendant, became 
weary of their long confinement, and consented to 
go over to the slaveholders side ; but one of them, 
named Benjamin Thaw, declared that he would eat 
his Christmas dinner in the jury-room, before he 
would consent to such a flagrant act of injustice. 

His patience held out till the court adjourned. 
Consequently a third trial became necessary ; and 
the third jury brought in a verdict in favor of the 

The expenses of these suits were estimated at 
seventeen hundred dollars. Solomon Low was in 
limited circumstances ; and this expenditure in prose- 


cuting an innocent man was said to have caused his 
failure soon after. 


A colored woman and her son were slaves to a 
man in East-Jersey. She had two sons in Philadel- 
phia, who had been free several years, and her pre- 
sent master was unacquainted with them. In 1827, 
she and her younger son escaped, and went to live 
in Philadelphia. Her owner, knowing she had free 
sons in that city, concluded as a matter of course 
that she had sought their protection. A few weeks 
after her flight, he followed her, and having assumed 
Quaker costume, went to the house of one of her 
sons. He expressed great interest for the woman, 
and said he wished to obtain an interview with her 
for her benefit. His friendly garb and kind language 
completely deceived her son, and he told him that 
his mother was then staying at his brother's house, 
which was not far off. Having obtained this infor- 
mation, the slaveholder procured a constable and im- 
mediately went to the place described. Fortunately, 
the son was at home, and it being warm weather he 
sat near the open door. The mother was seated at 
a chamber window, and saw a constable approaching 
the house, with a gentleman in Quaker costume, 
whom she at once recognized as her master. She 
gave the alarm to her son, who instantly shut the 


door and fastened it. The master, being refused ad- 
mittance, placed a guard there, while he went to pro- 
cure a search-warrant. These proceedings attracted 
the attention of colored neighbors, and a crowd soon 
gathered about the house. They seized the man 
who guarded the door, and held him fast, while the 
woman and her fugitive son rushed out. It was 
dusk, and the uncertain light favored their escape. 
They ran about a mile, and took refuge with a co- 
lored family in Locust-street. The watchman soon 
got released from the colored people who held him, 
and succeeded in tracing the woman to her new re- 
treat, where he again mounted guard. The master 
returned meanwhile, and having learned the circum- 
stances, w T ent to the magistrate to obtain another 
warrant to search the house in Locust-street. 

At this stage of the affair, Friend Hopper was 
summoned, and immediately went to the rescue, ac- 
companied by one of his sons, about sixteen years 
old. He found the woman and her son stowed away 
in a closet, exceedingly terrified. He assured them 
they would be quite as safe on the mantel-piece, as 
they would be in that closet ; that their being found 
concealed would be regarded as the best evidence 
that they were the persons sought for. Knowing it 
was dangerous for them to remain in that house, he 
told them of a plan he had formed, on the spur of 
the moment. After giving them careful instructions 


how to proceed, he left them and requested that the 
street door might be opened for him. A crowd im- 
mediately rushed in, as he had foreseen would be the 
case. He affected to be greatly displeased, and or- 
dered the men of the house to turn all the intruders 
out. They obeyed him ; and among the number 
turned out were the two fugitives. It was dark, and 
in the confusion, the watchman on guard could not 
distingush them among the multitude. 

Friend Hopper had hastily consigned them to his 
son, with instructions to take them to his house ; and 
the watchman, seeing that he himself remained about 
the premises, took it for granted that the fugitives 
had not escaped. 

As soon as it was practicable, Friend Hopper re- 
turned home, where he found the woman and her 
son in a state of great agitation. He immediately 
sent her to a place of greater safety, and gave the 
son a letter to a farmer thirty miles up in the coun- 
try. He went directly to the river Schuylkill, but 
was afraid to cross the bridge, lest some person 
should be stationed there to arrest him. He accord- 
ingly walked along the margin of the river till he 
found a small boat, in which he crossed the stream. 
Following the directions he had received, he arrived 
at the farmer's house, where he had a kindly wel- 
come, and obtained employment. 

The master being unable to recapture his slaves, 


called upon Isaac T. Hopper to inquire if he knew 
anything about them. He coolly replied, " I believe 
they are doing very well. From what I hear, I 
judge it will not be necessary to give thyself any 
further trouble on their account." 

"There is no use in trying to capture a runaway 
slave in Philadelphia," rejoined the master. "I be- 
lieve the devil himself could not catch them when 
they once get here." 

"That is very likely," answered Friend Hopper. 
"But I think he would have less difficulty in catch- 
ing the masters ; being so much more familiar with 

Sixty dollars had already been expended in vain ; 
and the slave-holder, having relinquished all hope of 
tracing the fugitives, finally agreed to manumit the 
woman for fifty dollars, and her son for seventy-five 
dollars. These sums were advanced by two citizens 
friendly to the colored people, and the emancipated 

slaves repaid them by faithful service. 


In the autumn of 1828, Dr. Rich of Maryland 
came to Philadelphia with his wife, who was the 
daughter of an Episcopal clergyman in that city, by 
the name of Wiltbank. She brought a slave to wait 
upon her, intending to remain at her father's until 
after the birth of her child, which was soon expected 


to take place. When they had been there a few 
months, the slave was informed by some colored 
acquaintance that she was free in consequence of be- 
ing brought to Philadelphia. She called to consult 
with Isaac T. Hopper, and seemed very much disap- 
pointed to hear that a residence of six months was 
necessary to entitle her to freedom ; that her master 
was doubtless aware of that circumstance, and would 
probably guard against it. 

After some minutes of anxious reflection, she said, 
"Then there is nothing left for me to do but to run 
away ; for I am determined never to go back to Ma- 

Friend Hopper inquired whether she thought it 
would be right to leave her mistress without any one 
to attend upon her, in the situation she then was. 
She replied that she felt no scruples on that point, 
for her master was wealthy, and could hire as many 
servants as he pleased. Finding her mind entirely 
made up on the subject, he gave her such instruc- 
tions as seemed suited to the occasion. 

The next morning she was not to be found ; and 
Dr. Rich went in search of her, with his father-in- 
law, Mr. Wiltbank. Having frightened some igno- 
rant colored people where she visited, by threats of 
prosecuting them for harboring a runaway, they con- 
iessccl that she had gone from their house to Isaac 

T, Hopper. Mr, Wiltbank accordingly waited upon 


him, and after relating the circumstances of the case, 
inquired whether he had seen the fugitive. In reply, 
he made a frank statement of the interview he had 
with her, and of her fixed determination to obtain 
her freedom. The clergyman reproached her with 
ingratitude, and said she had always been treated 
with great kindness. 

"The woman herself gives a very different ac- 
count of her treatment," replied Friend Hopper; 
"but be that as it may, I cannot blame her for 
wishing to obtain her liberty." 

He asked if Friend Hopper knew where she then 
was ; and he answered that he did not. " Could you 
find her, if you tried?" inquired he. 

" I presume I could do it very easily," rejoined the 
Quaker. "The colored people never wish to secrete 
themselves from me ; for they know I am their true 

Mr. Wiltbank then said, "If you will cause her to 
be brought to your house, Dr. Rich and myself will 
come here at eight o'clock this evening. You will 
then hear her ask her master's pardon, acknowledge 
the kindness with which she has always been treated, 
and express her readiness to go home with him." 

Friend Hopper indignantly replied, "I have no 
doubt that fear might induce her to profess all thou 
hast said. But what trait hast thou discovered in 
my character, that leads thee to suppose I would 


be such a hypocrite as to betray the confidence this 
poor woman has reposed in me, by placing her in 
the power of her master, in the way thou hast pro- 

Mr. Wiltbank then requested that a message 
might be conveyed to the woman, exhorting her 
to return, and promising that no notice whatever 
would be taken of her offence. 

" She shall be informed of thy message, if that 
will be any satisfaction to thee," replied Friend 
Hopper; "but I am perfectly sure she will never 
voluntarily return into slavery." 

Dr. Rich and Mr. Wiltbank called in the evening, 
and were told the message had been delivered to 
the woman, but she refused to return. "She is in 
your house now," exclaimed Dr. Rich. "I can 
prove it ; and if you don't let me see her, I will 
commence a suit against you to-morrow, for har- 
boring my slave." 

" I believe Solomon Low resides in thy neighbor- 
hood," said Friend Hopper. "Art thou acquainted 
with him ? " 

Being answered in the affirmative, he said, "Solo- 
mon Low brought three such suits as thou hast 
threatened. They cost him seventeen hundred dol- 
lars, which I heard he was unable to pay. But 
perhaps thou hast seventeen hundred dollars to 
spare ? " 


Dr. Rich answered that he could well afford to 
lose that sum. 

"Very well," rejoined his opponent. "There are 
lawyers enough who need it, and still more who 
w T ould be glad to have it." 

Finding it alike impossible to coax or intimidate 
the resolute Quaker, they withdrew. About eleven 
o'clock at night, some of the family informed Friend 
Hopper that there was a man continually walking 
back and forth in front of the house. He went out 
and accosted him thus : " Friend, art thou watching 
my house?" When the stranger replied that he 
was, he said, "It is very kind in thee; but I really 
do not think there is any occasion for thy services. 
I am quite satisfied with the watchmen employed by 
the public." 

The man answered gruffly, "I have taken my 
stand, and I intend to keep it." 

Friend Hopper told him he had no objection ; and 
he was about to re-enter the house, when he ob- 
served Dr. Rich, who was so wrapped up in a large 
cloak, that at first he did not recognize him. He 
exclaimed, "Why doctor, art thou here ! Is it pos- 
sible thou art parading the streets so late in the 
night, at this cold season of the year ? Now, from 
motives of kindness, I do assure thee thy slave is not 
in my house. To save thee from exposing thy health 


by watching at this inclement season, I will give thee 
leave to search the house." 

The doctor replied, "I shall obtain a warrant in 
the morning, and search it with the proper officer." 

"There appear to be several on the watch," said 
Friend Hopper ; "and it surely is not necessary for all 
of them to be out in the cold at the same time. If 
thou wilt be responsible that nothing shall be stolen, 
thou art welcome to use my parlor as a watch- 
house." This offer was declined with freezing civili- 
ty, and Friend Hopper returned to his dwelling. 
Passing through the kitchen, he observed two co- 
lored domestics talking together in an under tone, 
apparently planning something which made them 
very merry. Judging from some words he over- 
heard, that they had a mischievous scheme on 
foot, he resolved to watch their movements without 
letting them know that he noticed them. One of 
them put on an old cloak and bonnet, opened the 
front door cautiously, looked up the street and down 
the street, but saw nobody. The watchers had seen 
the dark face the moment it peeped out, and they 
were lying in ambush to observe her closely. After 
a minute of apparent hesitation, she rushed into the 
street and ran with all speed. They joined in hot 
pursuit, and soon overtook her. She pretended to 
be greatly alarmed, and called aloud for a watch- 
man. The offenders were arrested and brought back 


to the house with the girl. Friend Hopper explained 
that these men had been watching his house, suppos- 
ing a fugitive slave to be secreted there ; and that 
they had mistaken one of his domestics for the per- 
son they were in search of. After laughing a little 
at the joke practised upon them, he proposed that 
they should be set at liberty ; and they were accord- 
ingly released. 

The next morning, a soon as it was light, he in- 
vited the watchers to come in and warm themselves ; 
but they declined. After sunrise, they all dispersed, 
except two. When breakfast was ready, he urged 
them to come in and partake ; telling them that one 
could keep guard while the other was eating. But 
they replied that Dr. Rich had ordered them to hold 
no communication with him. 

Being firmly persuaded that the slave was in the 
house, they kept sentry several days and nights. 
For fear she might escape by the back way, a mes- 
senger was sent to Mr. Warrence, who occupied a 
building in the rear, offering to pay him for his trou- 
ble if he would watch the premises in that direction. 
His wife happened to overhear the conversation ; and 
having a pitcher of scalding w r ater in her hand, she 
ran out saying, "Do you propose to hire my hus- 
band to watch neighbor Hopper's premises for a run- 
away slave ? Go about your business ! or I will 
throw this in vour face." 


When Dr. Rich called again, he was received po- 
litely, and the first inquiry was how he had succeed- 
ed in his efforts to procure a search-warrant. He 
replied, " The magistrate refused to grant one." 

"Perhaps Joseph Reed, the Recorder, would 
oblige thee in that matter," said Friend Hopper. 

The answer was, "I have been to him, and he 
declines to interfere." 

It was then suggested that it might be well to re- 
tain a lawyer with a portion of the seventeen hun- 
dred dollars he said he had to spare. 

"I have been to Mr. Broome," rejoined the doc- 
tor. "He tells me that you understand the law in 
such cases as well as he does ; and he advises me to 
let the matter alone." 

" I will give thee permission to search my house," 
said Friend Hopper ; "and I have more authority in 
that matter than any magistrate, judge, or lawyer, 
in the city." 

"That is very gentlemanly," replied the doctor; 
"but I infer from it that the woman is not in your 

He was again assured that she was not ; and they 
f3ll into some general discourse on the subject of 
s'avery. " Suppose you came to Maryland and lost 
your horse," said the Doctor. "If you called upon 
me, and I told you that I knew where he was, but 
would not inform you, would you consider yourself 


treated kindly?" "In such a case, I should not con- 
sider myself well treated," replied Friend Hopper. 
" But in this part of the country, we make a distinc- 
tion between horses and men. We believe that hu- 
man beings have souls." 

"That makes no difference, " rejoined the Doctor. 
"You confess that you could find my slave if you 
were so disposed ; and I consider it your duty to tell 
me where she is." "I will do it when I am of the 
same opinion," replied Friend Hopper; "but till 
then thou must excuse me." 

The fugitive was protected by a colored man nam- 
ed Hill, who soon obtained a situation for her as ser- 
vant in a respectable country family, where she was 
kindly treated. In the course of a year or two, she 
returned to Philadelphia, married a steady industri- 
ous man, and lived very comfortably. 

Mr. Hill had a very revengeful temper. One of 
his colored neighbors brought suits against him for 
criminal conduct, and recovered heavy damages. 
From that time he seemed to hate people of his own 
complexion, and omitted no opportunity to injure 
them. The woman he befriended, when he was in a 
better state of mind, had been married nine or ten 
years, and had long ceased to think of danger, when 
he formed the wicked project of making a little 
money by betraying her to her master. Accordingly 
he sought her residence accompanied by one of those 


wretches who make a business of capturing slaves. 
When he entered her humble abode, he found her 
busy at the wash-tub. Kejoiced to see the man who 
had rendered her such essential service in time of 
need, she threw her arms about his neck, exclaiming, 
"O, uncle Hill, how glad I am to see you !" She 
hastily set aside her tub, wiped up the floor, and 
thinking there was nothing in the house good enough 
for her benefactor, she went out to purchase some 
little luxuries. Hill recommended a particular shop, 
and proposed to accompany her. The slave-hunter, 
who had been left in the street, received a private 
signal, and the moment she entered the shop, he 
pounced upon her. Before her situation could be 
made known to Isaac T. Hopper, she was removed 
to Baltimore. The last he ever heard of her she 
was in prison there, awaiting her day of sale, when 
she was to be transported to New-Orleans. 

He used to say he did not know which was the 
most difficult for his mind to conceive of, the cruel 
depravity manifested by the ignorant colored man, 
or the unscrupulous selfishness of the slaveholder, a 
man of education, a husband and a father, who 
could consent to use such a tool for such a purpose. 

Many more narratives of similar character might 

be added ; for I think he estimated at more than one 

thousand the number of cases in which he had been 

employed for fugitives, in one way or another, during 


his forty years' residence in Philadelphia. But 
enough have been told to illustrate the active benevo- 
lence, uncompromising boldness, and ready wit, 
which characterized this friend of humanity. His 
accurate knowledge of all laws connected with slave- 
ry was so proverbial, that magistrates and lawyers 
were generally averse to any collision with him on 
such subjects. 

In 1810, Benjamin Donahue of Delaware applied 
to Mr. Barker, mayor of Philadelphia, to assist him 
in recovering a fugitive, with whose place of resi- 
dence he was perfectly sure Isaac T. Hopper was ac- 
quainted. After a brief correspondence with Friend 
Hopper, the mayor said to Mr. Donahue, "We had 
better drop this business, like a hot potato ; for Mr. 
Hopper knows more law in such cases as this, than 
you and I put together." 

He would often resort to the most unexpected ex- 
pedients. Upon one occasion, a slave case was 
brought before Judge Rush, brother of Dr. Benjamin 
Rush. It seemed likely to terminate in favor of the 
slaveholder ; but Friend Hopper thought he observed 
that the judge wavered a little. He seized that mo- 
ment to inquire, "Hast thou not recently published 
a legal opinion, in which it is distinctly stated that 
thou wouldst never seek to sustain a human law, if 
thou wert convinced that it conflicted with any law 
in the Bible ?" 


" I did publish such a statement," replied Judge 
Rush; "and I am ready to abide by it ; for in all 
cases, I consider the divine law above the human." 

Friend Hopper drew from his pocket a small Bi- 
ble, which he had brought into court for the express 
purpose, and read in loud distinct tones the follow- 
ing verses : "Thou shalt not deliver unto his master 
the servant which is escaped from his master unto 
thee : He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in 
that place which he shall choose, in one of thy gates, 
where it liketh him best : thou shalt not oppress 
him." Deut. 23: 15, 16. 

The slaveholder smiled ; supposing this appeal to 
old Hebrew law would be considered as little appli- 
cable to modern times, as the command to stone a 
man to death for picking up sticks on the Sabbath. 
But when the judge asked for the book, read the 
sentence for himself, seemed impressed by it, and ad- 
journed the decision of the case, he walked out of 
the court-house muttering, "I believe in my soul 
the old fool will let him off on that ground." And 
sure enough, the slave was discharged. 

Friend Hopper's quickness in slipping through 
loop-holes, and dodging round corners, rendered him 
exceedingly troublesome and provoking to slave- 
holders. He often kept cases pending in court three 
or four years, till the claimants were completely 
wearied out, and ready to settle on any terms. His 


acute perception of the slightest flaw in a document, 
or imperfection in evidence, always attracted notice 
in the courts he attended. Judges and lawyers of- 
ten remarked to him, ''Mr. Hopper, it is a great 
pity you were not educated for the legal profession. 
You have such a judicial mind." Mr. William 
Lewis, an eminent lawyer, offered him every facility 
for studying the profession. " Come to my office 
and use my library whenever you please," said he ; 
"or I will obtain a clerkship in the courts for you, 
if you prefer that. Your mind is peculiarly adapted 
to legal investigation, and if you would devote your- 
self to it, you might become a judge before long." 

But Friend Hopper could never overcome his 
scruples about entering on a career of worldly am- 
bition. He thought he had better keep humble, and 
resist temptations that might lead him out of the 
plainness and simplicity of the religious Society to 
which he belonged. 

As for the colored people of Philadelphia, they 
believed in his infallibility, as devout Catholics be- 
lieve in the Pope. They trusted him, and he trusted 
them ; and it is remarkable in how few instances he 
found his confidence misplaced. The following anec- 
dote will illustrate the nature of the relation ex- 
isting between him and that much abused race. 
Prince Hopkins, a wood-sawyer of Philadelphia, 
was claimed as a fugitive slave by John Kinsmore 


of Baltimore. When Friend Hopper went to the 
magistrate's office to inquire into the affair, he found 
the poor fellow in tears. He asked for a private in- 
terview, and the alderman gave his consent. When 
they were alone, Prince confessed that he was the 
slave in question. In the course of his narrative, it 
appeared that he had been sent into Pennsylvania 
by his mistress, and had resided there with a relative 
of hers two years. Friend Hopper told him to dry 
up his tears, for it was" in his power to protect him. 
When he returned to the office, he informed the 
magistrate that Prince Hopkins was a free man ; 
having resided in Pennsylvania, with the consent of 
his mistress, a much longer time than the law re- 
quired. Mr. Kinsmore was irritated, and demanded 
that the colored man should be imprisoned till he 
could obtain legal advice. 

"Let him go and finish the wood he was sawing," 
said Friend Hopper. "I will be responsible for his 
appearance whenever he is wanted. If the magis- 
trate will give me a commitment, Prince will call 
at my house after he has finished sawing his wood, 
and I will send him to jail with it. He can re- 
main there, until the facts I have stated are clearly 

The slave-holder and his lawyer seemed to regard 
this proposition as an insult. They railed at Friend 
Hopper for his "impertinent interference," and for 


the absurd idea of trusting "that nigger" under such 

He replied, "I would rather trust 'that nigger/ as 
you call him, than either of you." So saying, he 
marched off with the magistrate's mittimus in his 

When Prince Hopkins had finished his job of 
sawing, he called for the commitment, and carried 
it to the jailor, who locked him up. Satisfactory 
evidence of his freedom was soon obtained, and he 
was discharged. 

The colored people appeared to better advantage 
with their undoubted friend, than they possibly could 
have done where a barrier of prejudice existed. They 
were not afraid to tell him their experiences in their 
own way, with natural pathos, here and there dashed 
with fun. A line-looking, athletic fugitive, telling 
him his story one day, said, "When I first run away, 
I met some people who were dreadful afraid I could 
n't take care of myself. But thinks I to myself I 
took care of master and myself too for a long spell ; 
and I guess I can make out." With a roguish ex- 
pression laughing all over his face, he added, "I 
don't look as if I was suffering for a master ; do I, 
Mr. Hopper?" 

Though slaveholders had abundant reason to dread 
Isaac T. Hopper, as they would a blister of Spanish 
flies, yet he had no hardness of feeling toward them, 


or even toward kidnappers ; hateful as he deemed 
the system, which produced them hoth. 

In 1801, a sober industrious family of free colored 
people, living in Pennsylvania on the borders of 
Maryland, were attacked in the night by a band of 
kidnappers. The parents were aged, and needed 
the services of their children for support. Knowing 
that the object of the marauders was to carry them 
off and sell them to slave speculators, the old father 
defended them to the utmost of his power. In the 
struggle, he was wounded by a pistol, and one of his 
daughters received a shot, which caused her death. 
One of the sons, who was very ill in bed, was beaten 
and bruised till he was covered with blood. But 
mangled and crippled as he was, he contrived to 
drag himself to a neighboring barn, and hide him- 
self under the straw. 

If such lawless violence had been practised upon 
any white citizens, the Executive of Pennsylvania 
would have immediately offered a high reward for 
the apprehension of the aggressors; but the victims 
belonged to a despised caste, and nothing was done 
to repair their wrongs. Friend Hopper felt the 
blood boil in his veins when he heard of this cruel 
outrage, and his first wish was to have the offenders 
punished ; but as soon as he had time to reflect, 
he said, "I cannot find it in my.heart to urge this 
subject upon the notice of the Executive ; for death 


would be the penalty if those wretches were con- 

There were many highly respectable individuals 
among the colored people of Philadelphia. Richard 
Allen, who had been a slave, purchased freedom 
with the proceeds of his own industry. He married, 
and established himself as a shoemaker in that city, 
where he acquired considerable property, and built a 
three-story brick house. He was the principal agent 
in organizing the first congregation of colored people 
in Philadelphia, and was their pastor to the day of 
his death, without asking or receiving any compen- 
sation. During the latter part of his life, he was 
Bishop of their Methodist Episcopal Church. Ab- 
salom Jones, a much respected colored man, was 
his colleague. In 1793, when the yellow fever was 
raging, it was extremely difficult to procure at- 
tendants for the sick on any terms ; and the few 
who would consent to render service, demanded ex- 
orbitant prices. But Bishop Allen and Rev. Mr. 
Jones never hesitated to go wherever they could be 
useful ; and with them, the compensation was always 
a secondary consideration. When the pestilence had 
abated, the mayor sent them a certificate expressing 
his approbation of their conduct. But even these 
men, whose worth commanded respect, were not safe 
from the legalized curse that rests upon their hunted 
race. A Southern speculator arrested Bishop Allen, 


and claimed him as a fugitive slave, whom he had 
bought running. The constable employed to serve 
the warrant was ashamed to drag the good man 
through the streets ; and he merely said, in a re- 
spectful tone, " Mr. Allen, you will soon come down 
to Alderman Todd's office, will you?" 

The fugitive, whom they were seeking, had ab- 
sconded only four years previous ; and everybody in 
Philadelphia knew that Richard Allen had been 
Jiving there more than twenty years. Yet the specu- 
lator and his sons swore unblushingly that he was 
the identical slave they had purchased. Mr. Allen 
thought he ought to have some redress for this out- 
rage ; "For," said he, "if it had not been for the 
kindness of the officer, I might have been dragged 
through the streets like a felon." 

Isaac T. Hopper was consulted, and a civil suit 
commenced. Eight hundred dollars bail was de- 
manded, and the speculator, being unable to procure 
it, was lodged in the debtor's prison. When he had 
been there three months, Mr. Allen caused him to be 
discharged ; saying he did not wish to persecute the 
man, but merely to teach him not to take up free 
people again, for the purpose of carrying them into 

The numerous instances of respectability among 
the colored people were doubtless to be attributed in 
part to the protecting influence extended over them 


by the Quakers. But even in those days, the Socie- 
ty of Friends were by no means all free from preju- 
dice against color ; and in later times, I think they 
have not proved themselves at all superior to other 
sects in their feelings and practice on this subject. 
Friend Hopper, Joseph Carpenter, and the few who 
resemble them in this respect, are exceptions to the 
general character of modern Quakers, not the rule. 
The following very characteristic anecdote shows 
how completely Isaac was free from prejudice on ac- 
count of complexion. It is an unusual thing to see 
a colored Quaker ; for the African temperament is 
fervid and impressible, and requires more exciting 
forms of religion. David Maps and his wife, a very 
worthy couple, were the only colored members of 
the Yearly Meeting to which Isaac T. Hopper be- 
longed. On the occasion of the annual gathering in 
Philadelphia, they came with other members of the 
Society to share the hospitality of his house. A 
question arose in the family whether Friends of 
white complexion would object to eating with them. 
"Leave that to me," said the master of the house- 
hold. Accordingly when the time arrived, he an- 
nounced it thus: "Friends, dinner is now ready. 
David Maps and his wife will come with me ; and as 
I like to have all accommodated, those who object to 
dining with them can wait till they have done." The 
guests smiled, and all seated themselves at the table. 


The conscientiousness so observable in several 
anecdotes of Isaac's boyhood was strikingly mani- 
fested in his treatment of a colored printer, named 
Kane. This man was noted for his profane swearing. 
Friend Hopper had expostulated with him concerning 
this bad habit, without producing the least effect. 
One day, he encountered him in the street, pouring 
forth a volley of terrible oaths, enough to make one 
shudder. Believing him incurable by gentler means, 
he took him before a magistrate, who fined him for 

He did not see the man again for a long time ; but 
twenty years afterward, when he was standing at 
his door, Kane passed by. The Friend's heart was 
touched by his appearance ; for he looked old, 
feeble, and poor. He stepped out, shook hands 
with him, and said in kindly tones, "Dost thou 
remember me, and how I caused thee to be fined 
for swearing 1 " 

"Yes, indeed I do," he replied. "I remember 
how many dollars I paid, as well as if it were but 

" Did it do thee any good ; " inquired Friend Hop- 

"Never a bit," answered he. "It only made me 
mad to have my money taken from me." 

The poor man was invited to walk into the house. 
The interest was calculated on the fine, and every 


cent repaid to him. "I meant it for thy good," said 
the benevolent Quaker ; " and I am sorry that I only 
provoked thee." Kane's countenance changed at 
once, and tears began to flow. He took the money 
with many thanks, and was never again heard to 

Friend Hopper's benevolence was by no means 
confined to colored people. Wherever there was 
good to be done, his heart and hand were ready. 
From various anecdotes in proof of this, I select the 


John was an Irish orphan, whose parents died of 
yellow fever, when he was very young. He obtain- 
ed a scanty living by doing errands for cartmen. In 
the year 1800, when he was about fourteen years 
old, there was a long period during which he could 
obtain scarcely any employment. Being without 
friends, and in a state of extreme destitution, he was 
tempted to enter a shop and steal two dollars from 
the drawer. He was pursued and taken. Isaac T. 
Hopper, who was one of the inspectors of the prison 
at that time, saw a crowd gathered, and went to in- 
quire the cause. The poor boy's history was soon 
told. Friend Hopper liked the expression of his 
countenance, and pitied his forlorn condition. When 
he was brought up for trial, he accompanied him, 


and pleaded with the judge in his favor. He urged 
that the poor child's education had been entirely 
neglected, and consequently he was more to be pitied 
than blamed. If sent to prison, he would in all pro- 
bability become hardened, if not utterly ruined. He 
said if the judge would allow him to take charge of 
the lad, he would promise to place him in good 
hands, where he would be out of the way of tempta- 
tion. The judge granted his request, and John was 
placed in prison merely for a few days, till Friend 
Hopper could provide for him. He proposed to his 
father to have the boy bound to him. The old gen- 
tleman hesitated at first, on account of his neglected 
education and wild way of living ; but pity for the 
orphan overcame his scruples, and he agreed to take 
him. John lived with him till he was twenty-one 
years of age, and was remarkably faithful and in- 
dustrious. But about two years after, a neighbor 
came one night to arrest him for stealing a horse. 
Old Mr. Hopper assured him it was not possible 
John had done such a thing ; that during all the time 
he had lived in his family he had proved himself en- 
tirely honest and trustworthy. The neighbor replied 
that his horse had been taken to Philadelphia and 
sold ; and the ferryman from Woodbury was ready 
to swear that the animal was brought over by Hop- 
per's John, as he was generally called. John was in 
bed, but was called up to answer the accusation. 


He did not attempt to deny it, but gave up the money 
at once, and kept repeating that he did know what 
made him do it. He was dreadfully ashamed and 
distressed. He begged that Friend Isaac would not 
come to see him in prison, for he could not look him 
the face. His anguish of mind was so great, that 
when the trial came on, he was emaciated almost to 
a skeleton. Old Mr. Hopper went into court and 
stated the adverse circumstances of his early life, 
and his exemplary conduct during nine years that he 
had lived in his family. He begged that he might 
be fined instead of imprisoned, and offered to pay 
the fine himself. The proposition was accepted, and 
the kind old man took the culprit home. 

This lenient treatment completely subdued the 
last vestige of evil habits acquired in childhood. He 
was humble and grateful in the extreme, and always 
steady and industrious. He conducted with great 
propriety ever afterward, and established such a 
character for honesty, that the neighbors far and 
wide trusted him to carry their produce to market, 
receiving a small commission for his trouble. Even- 
tually, he came to own a small house and farm, 
where he lived in much comfort and respectability. 
He always looked up to Isaac as the friend who had 
early raised him from a downward and slippery path ; 
and he was never weary of manifesting gratitude by 
every little attention he could devise. 



Some one having told Friend Hopper of an ap- 
prentice who was cruelly treated, he caused investi- 
gation to be made, and took the lad under his own 
protection. As he was much bent upon going to 
sea, he was placed in a respectable boarding-house 
for sailors, till a fitting opportunity could be found 
to gratify his inclination. One day, a man in the 
employ of this boarding-house brought a bill to be 
paid for the lad. He was very ragged, but his man- 
ners were those of a gentleman, and his conversation 
showed that he had been well educated. His ap- 
pearance excited interest in Friend Hopper's mind, 
and he inquired into his history. He said his name 
was Levi Butler ; that he was of German extrac- 
tion, and had been a wealthy merchant in Baltimore, 
of the firm of Butler and Magruder. He married a 
widow, who had considerable property, and several 
children. After her death, he failed in business, and 
gave up all his own property, but took the precau- 
tion to secure all her property to her children. His 
creditors were angry, and tried various ways to com- 
pel him to pay them with his wife's money. He was 
imprisoned a long time. He petitioned the Legis- 
lature for release, and the committee before whom 
the case was brought made a report in his favor, 
highly applauding his integrity in not involving his 


own affairs with the property belonging to his wife's 
children, who had been intrusted to his care. Po- 
verty and persecution had broken down his spirits, 
and when he was discharged from prison he left Bal- 
timore and tried to obtain a situation as clerk in 
Philadelphia. He did not succeed in procuring em- 
ployment. His clothes became thread-bare, and he 
had no money to purchase a new suit. In this situa- 
tion, some people to whom he applied for employ- 
ment treated him as if he were an impostor. In a 
state of despair he went one day to drown himself. 
But when he had put some heavy stones in his pocket 
to make him sink rapidly, he seemed to hear a voice 
calling to him to forbear ; and looking up, he saw a 
man watching him. He hurried away to avoid ques- 
tions, and passing by a sailor's boarding-house, he 
went in and offered to wait upon the boarders for his 
food. They took him upon those terms ; and the 
gentleman who had been accustomed to ride in his 
own carriage, and be waited upon by servants, now 
roasted oysters and went of errands for common sea- 
men. He was in this forlorn situation, when acci- 
dent introduced him to Friend Hopper's notice. He 
immediately furnished him with a suit of warm 
clothes ; for the weather was cold, and his garments 
thin. He employed him to post up his account- 
books, and finding that he did it in a very perfect 


manner, he induced several of his friends to employ 
him in a similar way. 

A brighter day was dawning for the unfortunate 
man, and perhaps he might have attained to comfor- 
table independence, if his health had not failed. 
But he had taken severe colds by thin clothing and 
exposure to inclement weather. A rapid consump- 
tion came on, and he was soon entirely unable to 
work. Under these circumstances, the best Friend 
Hopper could do for him was to secure peculiar pri- 
vileges at the alms-house, and surround him with, all 
the little comforts that help to alleviate illness. He 
visited him very often, until the day of his death, 
and his sympathy and kind attentions were always 
received with heartfelt gratitude. 


One day when Friend Hopper visited the prison, 
he found a dark-eyed lad with a very bright expres- 
sive countenance His right side was palsied, so 
that the arm hung down useless. Attracted by his 
intelligent face, he entered into conversation with 
him, and found that he had been palsied from infan- 
cy. He had been sent forth friendless into the world 
from an alms-house in Maryland. In Philadelphia, 
he had been committed to prison as a vagrant, be- 
cause he drew crowds about him in the street by his 

wonderful talent of imitating a hand-organ, merely 


by whistling tunes through his fingers. Friend Hop- 
per, who had imbibed the Quaker idea that music 
was a useless and frivolous pursuit, said to the boy, 
"Didst thou not know it was wrong to spend thy 
time in that idle manner ?" 

With ready frankness the young prisoner replied, 
"No, I did not; and I should like to hear how you 
can prove it to be wrong. God has given you sound 
limbs. Half of my body is paralyzed, and it is im- 
possible for me to work as others do. It has pleas- 
ed God to give me a talent for music. I do no 
harm with it. It gives pleasure to myself and oth- 
ers, and enables me to gain a few coppers to buy 
my bread. I should like to have you show me 
wherein it is wrong." 

Without attempting to do so, Friend Hopper sug- 
gested that perhaps he had been committed to prison 
on account of producing noise and confusion in the 

"I make no riot," rejoined the youth. "I try to 
please people by my tunes ; and if the crowd around 
me begin to be noisy, I quietly walk off." 

Struck with the good sense and sincerity of these 
answers, Friend Hopper said to the jailor, " Thou 
mayest set this lad at liberty. I will be responsible 
for it." 

The jailer relying on his well-known character, 
and his intimacy with Robert Wharton, the mayor, 


did not hesitate to comply with his request. At that 
moment, the mayor himself came in sight, and 
Friend Hopper said to the lad, " Step into the next 
room, and play some of thy hest tunes till I come." 

" What's this?" said Mr. Wharton. "Have you 
got a hand-organ here !" 

" Yes," replied Friend Hopper; " and I will show- 
it to thee. It is quite curious." 

At first, the mayor could not believe that the 
sounds he had heard were produced by a lad merely 
whistling through his fingers. He thought them 
highly agreeable, and asked to have the tunes re- 

* "The lad was committed to prison for no other 
offence than making that noise, which seems to thee 
so pleasant," said Friend Hopper. "I dare say thou 
wouldst like to make it thyself, if thou could st. I 
have taken the liberty to discharge him." 

"Very well," rejoined the mayor, with a smile. 
"You have done quite right, Friend Isaac. You 
may go, my lad. I shall not trouble you. But try 
not to collect crowds about the streets." 

"That I cannot help," replied the youth. "The 
crowds will come, when I whistle for them ; and I 
get coppers by collecting crowds. But I promise 
you I will try to avoid their making any riot or con- 



A stout healthy woman, named Mary Norris was 
continually taken nip as a vagrant, or committed for 
petty larceny. As soon as she was discharged from 
the penalty of one misdemeanor, she was committed 
for another. One day, Friend Hopper, who was 
then inspector, said to her, "Well, Mary, thy time 
is out next week. Dost thou think thou shalt come 
back again?" 

"Yes," she replied sullenly. 

"Dost thou like to come back?" inquired he. 

"No, to be sure I don't," rejoined the prisoner. 
"But I've no doubt I shall come back before the 
month is out." 

"Why dost thou not make a resolution to behave 
better?" said the kindly inspector. 

"What use would it be?" she replied. "You 
would n't take me into your family. The doctor 
would n't take me into his family. No respectable 
person would have anything to do with me. My 
associates must be such acquaintances as I make 
here. If they steal, I am taken up for it ; no matter 
whether I am guilty or not. I am an old convict, 
and nobody believes what I say. O, yes, I shall 
come back again. To be sure I shall come back," 
she repeated bitterly. 

Her voice and manner excited Friend Hopper's 


compassion, and he thus addressed her: "If I will 
get a place for thee in some respectable family 
where they will be kind to thee, wilt thou give me 
thy word that thou wilt be honest and steady, and 
try to do thy duty." 

Her countenance brightened, and she eagerly an- 
swered, "Yes I will! And thank God and you too, 
the longest day I have to live." 

He exerted his influence in her behalf, and pro- 
cured a situation for her as head-nurse at the alms- 
house. She was well contented there, and behaved 
with great propriety. Seventeen years afterward, 
when Friend Hopper had not seen her for a long 
time, he called to inquire about her, and was in- 
formed that during all those years, she had been an 
honest, sober, and useful woman. She was rejoiced 
to see him again, and expressed lively gratitude, 
for the quiet and comfortable life she enjoyed through 
his agency. 


Upon one occasion, Friend Hopper entered a com- 
plaint against an old woman, who had presided over 
an infamous house for many years. She was tried, 
and sentenced to several months imprisonment. He 
went to see her several times, and talked very se- 
riously with her concerning the errors of her life. 
Finding that his expostulations made some impres- 


sion, he asked if she felt willing to amend her ways. 
"Oh, I should be thankful to do it !" she exclaimed. 
"But who would trust me ? What can I do to earn 
an honest living ? Everybody curses me, or makes 
game of me. How can I be a better woman, if I try 
ever so hard?" 

"I will give thee a chance to amend thy life," he 
replied ; " and if thou dost not, it shall be thy own 

He went round among the wealthy Quakers, and 
by dint of great persuasion he induced one to let her 
a small tenement at very low rent. A few others 
agreed to purchase some humble furniture, and a 
quantity of thread, needles, tape, and buttons, to 
furnish a small shop. The poor old creature's heart 
overflowed with gratitude, and it was her pride to 
keep everything very neat and orderly. There she 
lived contented and comfortable the remainder of her 
days, and became much respected in the neighbor- 
hood. The tears often came to her eyes when she 
saw Friend Hopper. "God bless that good man !" 
she would say. "He has been the salvation of 



A preacher of the Society of Friends felt im- 
pressed with the duty of calling a meeting for vicious 
people ; and Isaac T. Hopper was appointed to col- 


lect an audience. In the course of this mission, he 
knocked at the door of a very infamous house. A 
gentleman who was acquainted with him was passing 
by, and he stopped to say, "Friend Hopper, you 
have mistaken the house." 

"No, I have not," he replied. 

"But that is a house of notorious ill fame," said 
the gentleman. 

"I know it," rejoined he; "but nevertheless I 
have business here." 

His acquaintance looked surprised, but passed on 
without further query. A colored girl came to the 
door. To the inquiry whether her mistress was 
within, she answered in the affirmative. "Tell her 
I wish to see her," said Friend Hopper. The girl 
was evidently astonished at a visitor in Quaker cos- 
tume, and of such grave demeanor ; but she went 
and did the errand. A message was returned that 
her mistress was engaged and could not see any one. 
"Where is she ?" he inquired. The girl replied that 
she was up-stairs. "I will go to her," said the im- 
portunate messenger. 

The mistress of the house heard him, and leaning 
over the balustrade of the stairs, she screamed out, 
"What do you want with me, sir?" 

In very loud tones he answered, "James Simpson, 
a minister of the Society of Friends, has appointed 
a meeting to be held this afternoon, in Penrose store, 


Almond-street. It is intended for publicans, sinners, 
and harlots. I want thee to be there, and bring thy 
whole household with thee. Wilt thou come ?" 

She promised that she would ; and he afterward 
saw her at the meeting melted into tears by the di- 
rect and affectionate preaching. 


One day, when the family were in the midst of 
washing, a man called at Isaac T. Hopper's house to 
buy soap fat, and was informed they had none to 
sell. A minute after he had passed out, the domes- 
tic came running in to say that he had stolen some 
of the children's clothes from the line. Friend Hop- 
per followed him quickly, and called out, "Dost thou 
want to buy some soap-fat ? Come back if thou 

When the man had returned to the kitchen, he 
said, "Now give up the clothes thou hast stolen." 

The culprit was extremely confused, but denied 
that he had stolen anything. 

" Give them up at once, without any more words. 
It will be much better for thee," said Friend Hopper, 
in his firm way. 

Thus urged, the stranger drew from his bosom 
some small shirts and flannel petticoats. "My wife 
is very sick," said he. " She has a babe two weeks 
old, wrapped up in an old rag ; and when I saw this 


comfortable clothing on the line, I was tempted to 
take it for the poor little creature. We have no fuel 
except a little tan. A herring is the last mouthful of 
food we have in the house ; and when I came away, 
It was broiling on the hot tan." 

His story excited pity ; but fearing it might be 
made up for the occasion, Friend Hopper took him 
to a magistrate and said, "Please give me a com- 
mitment for this man. If he tells a true story, I 
will tear it up. I will go and see for myself." 

When he arrived at the wretched abode, he found 
a scene of misery that pained him to the heart. 
The room was cold, and the wife was in bed, pale 
and suffering. Her babe had no clothing, except a 
coarse rag torn from the ~kirt of an old coat. Of 
course he destroyed the commitment immediately. 
His next step was to call upon the rich Quakers of 
his acquaintance, and obtain from them contributions 
of wood, flour, rice, bread, and warm garments. Em- 
ployment was soon after procured for the man, and 
he was enabled to support his family comfortably. 
He never passed Friend Hopper in the street without 
making a low bow, and often took occasion to ex- 
press his grateful acknowledgments. 


Patrick was a poor Irishman in Philadelphia. He 

and another man were arrested on a charge of burgla- 


ry, convicted and sentenced to be hung. I am igno- 
rant of the details. of his crime, or why the sentence 
was not carried into execution. There were probably 
some palliating circumstances in his case ; for though 
he was carried to the gallows, seated on his coffin, 
he was spared for some reason, and his companion 
was hung. He was afterward sentenced to ten 
years imprisonment, and this was eventually short- 
ened one year. During the last three years of his 
term, Friend. Hopper was one of the inspectors, and 
frequently talked with him in a gentle, fatherly man- 
ner. The convict was a man of few words, and 
hope seemed almost dead within him ; but though he 
made no large promises, his heart was evidently 
touched by the voice of kindness. As soon as he 
was released, he went immediately to work at his 
trade of tanning leather, and conducted himself in 
the most exemplary manner. Being remarkable for 
capability, and the amount of work he could accom- 
plish, he soon had plenty of employment. He pass- 
ed Friend Hopper's house every day, as he went to 
his work, and often received from him words of 
friendly encouragement. 

Things were going on thus satisfactorily, when 
his friend heard that constables were in pursuit of 
him, on account of a robbery committed the night 
before. He went straight to the mayor, and inquired 


why orders had been given to arrest Patrick Mc- 

"Because there has been a robbery committed in 
his neighborhood," replied the magistrate. 

He inquired what proof there was that Patrick 
had been concerned in it. 

"None at all," rejoined the mayor. "But he is 
an old convict, and that is enough to condemn him. ,, 

" It is not enough, by any means," answered Friend 
Hopper. "Thou hast no right to arrest any citizen 
without a shadow of proof against him. In this 
case, I advise thee by all means to proceed with hu- 
mane caution. This man has severely atoned for 
the crime he did commit ; and since he wishes to re- 
form, his past history ought never to be mentioned 
against him. He has been perfectly honest, sober, 
and industrious, since he came out of prison. I 
think I know his state of mind ; and I am willing to 
take the responsibility of saying that he is guiltless 
in this matter." 

The mayor commended Friend Hopper's bene- 
volence, but remained unconvinced. To all argu- 
ments he replied, "He is an old convict, and that is 

Patrick's kind friend watched for him as he passed 
to his daily labors, and told him that he would pro- 
bably be arrested for the robbery that had been com- 
mitted in his neighborhood. The poor fellow bowed 


down his head, the light vanished from his counte- 
nance, and hope seemed to have forsaken him utter- 
ly. "Well," said he, with a deep sigh, "I suppose 
I must make up my mind to spend the remainder of 
my days in prison." 

"Thou wert not concerned in this robbery, wert 
thou ?" inquired Friend Hopper, looking earnestly in 
his face. 

" No, indeed I was not," he replied. " God be my 
witness, I want to lead an honest life, and be at 
peace with all men. But what good will that do 
me ? Everybody will say, he has been in the State 
Prison, and that is enough." 

His friend did not ask him twice ; for he felt as- 
sured that he had spoken truly. He advised him to 
go directly to the mayor, deliver himself up, and de- 
clare his innocence. This wholesome advice was 
received with deep dejection. He had lost faith in 
his fellow-men ; for they had been to him as ene- 
mies. "I know what will come of it," said he. 
" They will put me in prison whether there is any 
proof against me, or not. They won't let me out 
without somebody will be security for me ; and who 
will be security for an old convict ?" 

"Keep up a good heart," replied Friend Hopper. 
"Go to the mayor and speak as I have advised thee. 
If they talk of" putting thee in prison, send for me." 

Patrick acted in obedience to this advice, and was 


treated just as he had expected. Though there was 
not a shadow of proof against him, his being an old 
convict was deemed sufficient reason for sending him 
to jail. 

Friend Hopper appeared in his behalf. "I am 
ready to affirm that I believe this man to be inno- 
cent," said he. " It will be a very serious injury for 
him to be taken from his business and detained in 
prison until this can be proved. Moreover, the effect 
upon his mind may be completely discouraging. I 
will be security for his appearance when called for ; 
and I know very well that he will not think of giv- 
ing me the slip." 

The gratitude of the poor fellow was overwhelm- 
ing. He sobbed till his strong frame shook like a 
leaf in the wind. The real culprits were soon after 
discovered. For thirty years after and to the day of 
his death, Patrick continued to lead a virtuous and 
useful life ; for which he always thanked Friend 
Hopper, as the instrument of Divine Providence. 


A young girl, the only daughter of a poor widow, 
removed from the country to Philadelphia to earn 
her living by covering umbrellas. She was very 
handsome ; with glossy black hair, large beaming 
eyes, and "lips like wet coral." She was just at 
that susceptible age when youth is ripening into wo- 


manhood, when the soul begins to be pervaded by 
"that restless principle, which impels poor humans 
to seek perfection in union." 

At a hotel near the store for which she worked an 
English traveller, called Lord Henry Stuart, had tak- 
en lodgings. He was a strikingly handsome man, 
and of princely carriage. As this distinguished stran- 
ger passed to and from his hotel, he encountered the 
umbrella girl, and was attracted by her uncommon 
beauty. He easily traced her to the store, where he 
soon after went to purchase an umbrella. This was 
followed up by presents of flowers, chats by the way- 
side, and invitations to walk or ride ; all of which 
were gratefully accepted by the unsuspecting rustic ; 
for she was as ignorant of the dangers of a city as 
were the squirrels of her native fields. He was 
merely playing a game for temporary excitement. 
She, with a head full of romance, and a heart melt- 
ing under the influence of love, was unconsciously 
endangering the happiness of her whole life. 

Lord Henry invited her to visit the public gardens 
on the Fourth of July. In the simplicity of her 
heart, she believed all his flattering professions, and 
considered herself his bride elect ; she therefore ac- 
cepted the invitation with innocent frankness. But 
she had no dress fit to appear in on such a public oc- 
casion, with a gentleman of high rank, whom she 
verily supposed'to be her destined husband. While 


these thoughts revolved in her mind, her eye was un- 
fortunately attracted by a beautiful piece of silk, be- 
longing to her employer. Could she not take it, 
without being seen, and pay for it secretly, when she 
had earned money enough ? The temptation con- 
quered her in a moment of weakness. She conceal- 
ed the silk, and conveyed it to her lodgings. It was 
the first thing she had ever stolen, and her remorse 
was painful. She would have carried it back, but 
she dreaded discovery. She was not sure that her 
repentance would be met in a spirit of forgiveness. 

On the eventful Fourth of July, she came out in 
her new dress. Lord Henry complimented her upon 
her elegant appearance, but she was not happy. On 
their way to the gardens, he talked to her in a man- 
ner which she did not comprehend. Perceiving this, 
he spoke more explicitly. The guileless young crea- 
ture stopped, looked in his face with mournful re- 
proach, and burst into tears. The nobleman took 
her hand kindly, and said, "My dear, are you an in- 
nocent girl ?" 

"I am, I am," she replied, with convulsive sobs. 
"Oh, what have I ever done, or said, that you should 
ask me such a question ?" 

The evident sincerity of her words stirred the 
deep fountains of his better nature. "If you are 
innocent," said he, "God forbid that I should make 
you otherwise. But you accepted my invitations 


and presents so readily, that I supposed you under- 
stood me." 

"What could I understand," said she, " except 
that you intended to make me your wife ?" 

Though reared amid the proudest distinctions of 
rank, he felt no inclination to smile. He blushed 
and was silent. The heartless conventionalities of 
the world stood rebuked in the presence of affection- 
ate simplicity. He conveyed her to her humble 
home, and bade her farewell, with a thankful con- 
sciousness that he had done no irretrievable injury to 
her future prospects. The remembrance of her 
would soon be to him as the recollection of last 
year's butterflies. With her, the wound was deep. 
In the solitude of her chamber she wept in bitter- 
ness of heart over her ruined air-castles. And that 
dress, which she had stolen to make an appearance 
befitting his bride ! Oh, what if she should be dis- 
covered ? And would not the heart of her poor wi- 
dowed mother break, if she should ever know that 
her child was a thief? 

Alas, her wretched forebodings proved too true. 
The silk was traced to her ; she was arrested on her 
way to the store and dragged to prison. There she 
refused all nourishment, and wept incessantly. On 
the fourth day, the keeper called upon Isaac T. 
Hopper, and informed him that there was a young 
girl in prison, who appeared to be utterly friendless, 


and determined to die by starvation. The kind- 
hearted Friend immediately went to her assistance. 
He found her lying on the floor of her cell, with her 
face buried in her hands, sobbing as if her heart 
would break. He tried to comfort her, but could 
obtain no answer. 

"Leave us alone," said he to the keeper. "Per- 
haps she will speak to me, if there is no one to hear." 
When they were alone together, he put back the 
hair from her temples, laid his hand kindly on her 
beautiful head, and said in soothing tones, "My 
child, consider me as thy father. Tell me all thou 
hast done. If thou hast taken this silk, let me know 
all about it. I will do for thee as I would for my 
own daughter ; and I doubt not that I can help thee 
out of this difficulty." 

After a long time spent in affectionate entreaty, 
she leaned her young head on his friendly shoulder, 
and sobbed out, "Oh, I wish I was dead. What 
will my poor mother say when she knows of my dis- 
grace ?" 

"Perhaps we can manage that she never shall 
know it," replied he. Alluring her by this hope, he 
gradually obtained from her the whole story of her 
acquaintance with the nobleman. He bade her be 
comforted, and take nourishment ; for he would see 
that the silk was paid for, and the prosecution with- 


He went immediately to her employer, and told 
him the story. "This is her first offence, " said he. 
"The girl is young, and she is the only child of a 
poor widow. Give her a chance to retrieve this one 
false step, and she may be restored to society, a use- 
ful and honored woman. I will see that thou art 
paid for the silk." The man readily agreed to with- 
draw the prosecution, and said he would have dealt 
otherwise by the girl, if he had known all the cir- 
cumstances. "Thou shouldst have inquired into the 
merits of the case," replied Friend Hopper. "By 
this kind of thoughtlessness, many a young creature 
is driven into the downward path, who might easily 
have been saved." 

The kind-hearted man next proceeded to the ho- 
tel, and with Quaker simplicity of speech inquired 
for Henry Stuart. The servant said his lordship 
had not yet risen. "Tell him my business is of im- 
portance," said Friend Hopper. The servant soon 
returned and conducted him to the chamber. The 
nobleman appeared surprised that a stranger, in the 
plain Quaker costume, should thus intrude upon his 
luxurious privacy. When he heard his errand, he 
blushed deeply, and frankly admitted the truth of the 
girl's statement. His benevolent visitor took the op- 
portunity to "bear a testimony" against the selfish- 
ness and sin of profligacy. He did it in such a kind 
and fatherly manner, that the young man's heart was 


touched. He excused himself, by saying that he 
would not have tampered with the girl, if he had 
known her to be virtuous. "I have done .many 
wrong things," said he, "but thank God, no betrayal 
of confiding innocence weighs on my conscience. I 
have always esteemed it the basest act of which man 
is capable." The imprisonment of the poor girl, and 
the forlorn situation in which she had been found, 
distressed him greatly. When Friend Hopper re- 
presented that the silk had been stolen for his sake, 
that the girl had thereby lost profitable employment, 
and was obliged to return to her distant home, to 
avoid the danger of exposure, he took out a fifty dol- 
lar note, and offered it to pay her expenses. 

"Nay," said Isaac. "Thou art a very rich man, 
I presume. I see in thy hand a large roll of such 
notes. She is the daughter of a poor widow, and 
thou hast been the means of doing her great injury. 
Give me another." 

Lord Henry handed him another fifty dollar note, 
and smiled as he said, "You understand your busi- 
ness well. But you have acted nobly, and I reve- 
rence you for it. If you ever visit England, come to 
see me. I will give you a cordial welcome, and 
treat you like a nobleman." 

"Farewell, friend," replied the Quaker. "Though 
much to blame in this affair, thou too hast behaved 
nobly. Mayst thou be blessed in domestic life, and 


trifle no more with the feelings of poor girls ; not 
even with those whom others have betrayed and de- 

When the girl was arrested, she had sufficient pre- 
sence of mind to assume a false name, and by that 
means, her true name had been kept out of the news- 
papers. "I did this," said she, "for my poor mo- 
ther's sake." With the money given by Lord Stuart, 
the silk was paid for, and she was sent home to her 
mother well provided with clothing. Her name and 
place of residence forever remained a secret in the 
breast of her benefactor. 

Years after these events transpired, a lady called 
at Friend Hopper's house, and asked to see him. 
W r hen he entered the room, he found a handsomely 
dressed young matron, with a blooming boy of five 
or six years old. She rose quickly to meet him, and 
her voice choked as she said, "Friend Hopper, do 
you know me ?" He replied that he did not. She 
fixed her tearful eyes earnestly upon him, and said, 
"You once helped me when in great distress." But 
the good missionary of humanity had helped too 
many in distress, to be able to recollect her without 
more precise information. With a tremulous voice, 
she bade her son go into the next room for a few mi- 
nutes ; then dropping on her knees, she hid her face 
in his lap, and sobbed out, "I am the girl who stole 


the silk. Oh, where should I now be, if it had not 
been for you !" 

When her emotion was somewhat calmed, she 
told him that she had married a highly respectable 
man, a senator of his native state. Being on a visit 
in Friend Hopper's vicinity, she had again and again 
passed his dwelling, looking wistfully at the windows 
to catch a sight of him ; but when she attempted to 
enter her courage failed. 

"But I must return home to-morrow," said she, 
"and I could not go away without once more seeing 
and thanking him who saved me from ruin." She 
recalled her little boy, and said to him, "Look at 
that gentleman, and remember him well ; for he was 
the best friend your mother ever had." With an 
earnest invitation to visit her happy home, and a fer- 
vent " God bless you !" she bade her benefactor fare- 


In the neighborhood of Carlisle, -Pennsylvania, 
there lived a man whose temper was vindictive and 
badly governed. Having become deeply offended 
with one of his neighbors, he induced his two sons 
to swear falsely that he had committed an infamous 
crime. One of the lads was about fifteen years old, 
and the other about seventeen. The alleged of- 
fence was of so gross a nature, and was so at vari- 


ance with the fair character of the person accused 
that the witnesses were subjected to a very careful 
and shrewd examination. They became embarrass- 
ed, and the flaws in their evidence were very obvi- 
ous. They were indicted for conspiracy against an 
innocent man ; and being taken by surprise, they 
were thrown into confusion, acknowledged their 
guilt, and declined the offer of a trial. They were 
sentenced to two years' imprisonment at hard labor 
in the Penitentiary of Philadelphia. 

Isaac T. Hopper, who was at that time one of the 
inspectors, happened to be at the prison when they 
arrived at dusk, hand-cuffed and chained together, m 
custody of the sheriff. Their youth and desolate 
appearance excited his compassion. "Keep up a 
crood heart, my poor lads," said he. "You can re- 
trieve this one false step, if you will but make the 
effort. It is still in your power to become respecta- 
ble and useful men. I will help you all I can." 

He gave particular directions that they should be 
placed in a room by themselves, apart from the con- 
tagion of more hardened offenders. To prevent un- 
profitable conversation, they were constantly em- 
ployed in the noisy occupation of heading nails. 
From time to time, the humane inspector spoke 
soothing and encouraging words to them, and com- 
mended their good behavior. When the Board of 
Inspectors met, he proposed that the lads should be 


recommended to the governor for pardon. Not suc- 
ceeding in this effort, he wrote an article on the im- 
propriety of confining juvenile offenders with old 
hardened convicts. He published this in the daily 
papers, and it produced considerable effect. When 
the Board again met, Isaac T. Hopper and Thomas 
Dobson were appointed to wait on the governor, to 
obtain a pardon for the lads if possible. After con- 
siderable hesitation, the request was granted on con- 
dition that worthy men could be found, who would 
take them as apprentices. Friend Hopper agreed to 
find such persons ; and he kept his word. One of 
them was bound to a tanner, the other to a carpen- 
ter. But their excellent friend did not lose sight of 
them. He reminded them that they were now going 
among strangers, and their success and happiness 
would mainly depend on their ow T n conduct. He 
begged of them, if they should ever get entangled 
with unprofitable company, or become involved in 
difficulty of any kind, to come to him, as they would 
to a considerate father. He invited them to spend 
all their leisure evenings at his house. For a long 
time, it was their constant practice to take tea with 
him every Sunday, and join the family in reading 
the Bible and other serious books. 

At the end of a year, they expressed a strong de- 
sire to visit their father. Some fears were enter- 
tained lest his influence over them should prove in- 


jurious ; and that being once freed from restraint, 
they would not willingly return to constant industry 
and regular habits. They, however, promised faith- 
fully that they would, and Friend Hopper thought it 
might have a good effect upon them to know that 
they were trusted. He accordingly entered into 
bonds for them ; thinking this additional claim on 
their gratitude would strengthen his influence over 
them, and help to confirm their good resolutions. 

They returned punctually at the day and hour 
they had promised, and their exemplary conduct 
continued to give entire satisfaction to their employ- 
ers. A short time after the oldest had fulfilled the 
term of his indenture, the tanner with whom he 
worked bought a farm, and sold his stock and tools 
to his former apprentice. Friend Hopper took him 
to the governor's house, dressed in his new suit of 
freedom clothes, and introduced him as one of the 
lads whom he had pardoned several years before ; 
testifying that he had been a faithful apprentice, and 
much respected by his master. The governor was 
well pleased to see him, shook hands with him very 
cordially, and told him that he who was resolute 
enough to turn back from vicious ways, into the 
paths of virtue and usefulness, deserved even more 
respect than one who had never been tempted. 

He afterward married a worthy young woman 
with a small property, which enabled him to build a 


neat two-story brick house. He always remained 
sober and industrious, and they lived in great com- 
fort and respectability. 

The younger brother likewise passed through his 
apprenticeship in a manner very satisfactory to his 
friends ; and at twenty-one years of age, he also was 
introduced to the governor with testimonials of his 
good conduct. He was united to a very respectable 
young woman, but died a few years after his mar- 

Both these young men always cherished warm 
gratitude and strong attachment for Isaac T. Hop- 
per. They both regularly attended the meetings of 
the Society of Friends, which had become pleasantly 
associated in their minds with the good influences 
they had received from their benefactor. 

Friend Hopper was a strict disciplinarian while he 
was inspector, and it was extremely difficult for the 
prisoners to deceive him by any artful devices, or hy- 
pocritical pretences. But he was always in the habit 
of talking with them in friendly style, inquiring into 
their history and plans, sympathizing with their 
troubles and temptations, encouraging them to re- 
form, and promising to assist them if they would try 
to help themselves. It was his custom to take a 
ramble in the country with his children every Satur- 
day afternoon. All who were old enough to walk 
joined the troop. They always stopped at the prison, 


and were well pleased to deliver to the poor inmates, 
with their own small hands, such little comforts as 
their father had provided for the purpose. He was 
accustomed to say that there was not one among the 
convicts, however desperate they might be, with 
whom he should be afraid to trust himself alone at 
midnight with large sums of money in his pocket. 
An acquaintance once cautioned him against a pri- 
soner, whose temper was extremely violent and re- 
vengeful, and who had been heard to swear that he 
would take the life of some of the keepers. Soon 
after this warning, Friend Hopper summoned the 
desperate fellow, and told him he was wanted to pile 
a quantity of lumber in the cellar. He went down 
with him to hold the light, and they remained more 
than an hour alone together, out of hearing of every- 
body. When he told this to the man who had cau- 
tioned him, he replied, "Well, I confess you have 
good courage. I would n't have done it for the 
price of the prison and all the ground it stands 
upon ; for I do assure you he is a terrible fellow." 

" I don't doubt he is," rejoined the courageous 
inspector; "but I knew he would n't kill me. I 
have always been a friend to him, and he is aware 
of it. What motive could he have for harming 
me : •»- 

One of the prisoners, who had been convicted of 
man-slaughter, became furious, in consequence of 


being threatened with a whipping. When they at- 
tempted to bring him out of his dungeon to receive 
punishment, he seized a knife and a club, rushed 
back again, and swore he would kill the first person 
who came near him. Being a very strong man, and 
in a state of madness, no one dared to approach him. 
They tried to starve him into submission ; but finding 
he was not to be subdued in that way, they sent for 
Friend Hopper, as they were accustomed to do in 
all such difficult emergencies. He went boldly into 
the cell, looked the desperado calmly in the face, 
and said, "It is foolish for thee to contend with the 
authorities. Thou wilt be compelled to yield at last. 
I will inquire into thy case. If thou hast been un- 
justly dealt by, I promise thee it shall be remedied." 
This kind and sensible remonstrance had the desired 
effect . From that time forward, he had great in- 
fluence over the ferocious fellow, who was always 
willing to be guided by his advice, and finally became 
one of the most reasonable and orderly inmates of 
the prison. 

I have heard Friend Hopper say that while he 
was inspector he aided and encouraged about fifty 
young convicts, as nearly as he could recollect ; and 
all, except two, conducted in such a manner as to 
satisfy the respectable citizens whom he had induced 
to employ them. He was a shrewd observer of the 
countenances and manners of men, and doubtless 


that was one reason why he was not often disap- 
pointed in those he trusted. 

The humor which characterized his boyhood, 
remained with him in maturer years, and often ef- 
fervesced on the surface of his acquired gravity ; as 
will appear in the following anecdotes. 

Upon a certain occasion, a man called on him with 
a due bill for twenty dollars against an estate he had 
been employed to settle. Friend Hopper put it away, 
saying he would examine it and attend to it as soon 
as he had leisure. The man called again a short 
time after, and stated that he had need of six dol- 
lars, and was willing to give a receipt for the whole 
if that sum were advanced. This proposition excited 
suspicion, and the administrator decided in his own 
mind that he would pay nothing till he had examined 
the papers of the deceased. Searching carefully 
among these, he found a receipt for the money, men- 
tioning the identical items, date, and circumstances 
of the transaction ; stating that a due-bill had been 
given and lost, and was to be restored by the credi- 
tor when found. When the man called again for 
payment, Isaac said to him, in a quiet way, "Friend 
Jones, I understand thou hast become pious lately." 

He replied in a solemn tone, "Yes, thanks to 
the Lord Jesus, I have found out^he way of sal- 


"And thou hast been dipped I hear," continued 
the Quaker. "Dost thou know James Hunter?" 

Mr. Jones answered in the affirmative. 

"Well, he also was dipped some time ago," re- 
joined Friend Hopper ; " but his neighbors say they 
did n't get the crown of his head under water. The 
devil crept into the unbaptized part, and has been 
busy within him ever since. I am afraid they did n't 
get thee quite under water. I think thou hadst bet- 
ter be dipped again." 

As he spoke, he held up the receipt for twenty 
dollars. The countenance of the professedly pious 
man became scarlet, and he disappeared instantly. 

A Dutchman once called upon Friend Hopper, and 
said, "A tief have stole mine goots. They tell me 
you can help me, may be." Upon inquiring the 
when and the where, Friend Hopper concluded that 
the articles had been stolen by a man whom he hap- 
pened to know the police had taken up a few hours 
previous. But being disposed to amuse himself, he 
inquired very seriously, "What time of the moon 
was it, when thy goods were stolen ? Having re- 
ceived information concerning that particular, he 
took a slate and began to cipher diligently. After a 
while, he looked up, and pronounced in a very ora- 
cular manner, 40Thou wilt find thy goods." 

"Shall I find mine goots ?" exclaimed the delight- 
ed Dutchman ; "and where is de tief?" 


"Art thou quite sure about the age of the moon?" 
inquired the pretended magician. Being assured 
there was no mistake on that point, he ciphered 
again for a few minutes, and then answered, "Thou 
wilt find the thief in the hands of the police." 

The Dutchman went away, evidently inspired with 
profound reverence. Having found his goods and 
the thief, according to prediction, he returned and 
asked for a private interview. "Tell me dat secret," 
said he, "and I will pay you a heap of money." 

"What secret?" inquired Friend Hopper. 

"Tell me how you know I will find mine goots, 
and where I will find de tief?" rejoined he. 

"The plain truth is, I guessed it," was the reply ; 
"because I had heard there was a thief at the police 
office, with such goods as thou described." 

"But what for you ask about de moon?" inquired 
the Dutchman. "You make figures, and den you 
say, you will find your goots. You make figures 
again, den you tell me where is de tief. I go, and 
find mine goots and de tief, just as you say. Tell 
me how you do dat, and I will pay you a heap of 

Though repeatedly assured that it was done only 
for a joke, he went away unsatisfied : and to the day 
of his death, he fully believed tb^i the facetious 
Quaker was a conjuror. 

When Friend Hopper hired one of two houses 


where the back yards were not separated, he found 
himself considerably incommoded by the disorderly 
habits of his next neighbor. The dust and dirt daily 
swept into the yard were allowed to accumulate there 
in a heap, which the wind often scattered over the 
neater premises adjoining. The mistress of the 
house was said to be of an irritable temper, likely to 
take offence if asked to adopt a different system. 
He accordingly resolved upon a course, which he 
thought might cure the evil without provoking a dis- 
pute. One day, when he saw his neighbor in her 
kitchen, he called his own domestic to come out into 
the yard. Pointing to the heap of dirt, he exclaimed, 
loud enough to be heard in the next house, "Betsy, 
art thou not ashamed to sweep dust and litter into 
such a heap. See how it is blowing about our 
neighbor's yard ! Art thou not ashamed of thy- 

"I didn't sweep any dirt there," replied the girl. 
" They did it themselves." 

"Pshaw ! Pshaw ! don't tell me that," rejoined he. 
"Our neighbor wouldn't do such an untidy thing. I 
wonder she hasn't complained of thee before now. 
Be more careful in future ; for I should be very sor- 
ry to give her any occasion to say she couldn't keep 
the yard cleamon our account." 

The domestic read his meaning in the roguish ex- 
pression of his eye, and she remained silent. The 


lesson took effect. The heap of dirt was soon re- 
moved, and never appeared afterward. 

Such a character as Isaac T. Hopper was of 
course well known throughout the city where lie 
lived. Every school-boy had heard something of his 
doings, and as he walked the street, everybody re- 
cognized him, from the chief justice to the chim- 
ney-sweep. His personal appearance was calculated 
to attract attention, independent of other circumstan- 
ces. Joseph Bonaparte, who then resided at Borden- 
town, was attracted toward him the first moment he 
saw him, on account of a strong resemblance to his 
brother Napoleon. They often met in the steam- 
boat going down the Delaware, and on such occa- 
sions, the ex-king frequently pointed him out as the 
most remarkable likeness of the emperor, that he 
had ever met in Europe or America. He expressed 
the opinion that with Napoleon's uniform on, he 
might be mistaken for him, even by his own house- 
hold ; and if he were to appear thus in Paris, noth- 
ing could be easier than for him to excite a revolu- 

But the imperial throne, even if it had been di- 
rectly offered to him, would have proved no tempta- 
tion to a soul like his. In some respects, his charac- 
ter, as well as his person, strongly resembled Napo- 
leon. But his powerful will was remarkably under 
the control of conscience, and his energy was tern- 


pered by an unusual share of benevolence. If the 
other elements of his character had not been balan- 
ced by these two qualities, he also might have been a 
skilful diplomatist, and a successful leader of armies. 
Fortunately for himself and others, he had a nobler 
ambition than that of making widows and orphans 
by wholesale slaughter. The preceding anecdotes 
show how warmly he sympathized with the poor, the 
oppressed, and the erring, without limitation of 
country, creed, or complexion ; and how diligently 
he labored in their behalf. But from the great 
amount of public service that he rendered, it must 
not be inferred that he neglected private duties. 
Perhaps no man was ever more devotedly attached 
to wife and children than he was. His Sarah, as he 
was wont to call her, was endowed with qualities 
well calculated to retain a strong hold on the affec- 
tions of a sensible and conscientious man. Her 
kindly disposition, and the regular, simple habits 01 
her life, were favorable to the preservation of that 
beauty, which had won his boyish admiration. Her 
wavy brown hair was softly shaded by the delicate 
transparent muslin of her Quaker cap ; her face had 
a tender and benign expression ; and her complexion 
was so clear, that an old gentleman, who belonged 
to the Society of Friends, and who was of course 
not much addicted to poetic comparisons, used to say 

he could never look at her without thinking of the 


clear pink and white of a beautiful conch-shell. She 
was scrupulously neat, and had something of that 
chastened coquetry in dress, which is apt to charac- 
terize the handsome women of her orderly sect. 
Her drab-colored gown, not high in the neck, was 
bordered by a plain narrow tucker of fine muslin, vi- 
sible under her snow-white neckerchief. A white 
under-sleeve came just below the elbow, where it 
terminated in a very narrow band, nicely stitched, 
and fastened with two small silver buttons, connected 
by a chain. She was a very industrious woman, and 
remarkably systematic in her household affairs ; 
thus she contrived to find time for everything, though 
burdened with the care of a large and increasing 
family. The apprentices always sat at table with 
them, and she maintained a perfect equality between 
them and her own children. She said it was her 
wish to treat them precisely as she would like to 
have her boys treated, if they should become appren- 
tices. On Sunday evenings, which they called First 
Day evenings, the whole family assembled to hear 
Friend Hopper read portions of scripture, or writings 
of the early Friends. On such occasions, the mother 
often gave religious exhortations to the children and 
apprentices, suited to the occurrences of the week, 
and the temptations to which they were peculiarly 
subject. During the last eight years of her life, she 
was a recommended minister of the Society of 


Friends, and often preached at their meetings. Her 
manners were affable, and her conversation peculiar- 
ly agreeable to young people. But she knew when 
silence was seemly, and always restrained her dis- 
course within the limits of discretion. When any of 
her children talked more than was useful, she was 
accustomed to administer this concise caution : "My 
dear, it is a nice thing to say nothing, when thou 
hast nothing to say." Her husband was proud of 
her, and always manifested great deference for her 
opinion. She suffered much anxiety on account of 
the perils to which he was often exposed in his con- 
tests with slaveholders and kidnappers ; and for 
many years, the thought was familiar to her mind 
that she might one day see him brought home a 
corpse. While the yellow fever raged in Philadel- 
phia, she had the same anxiety concerning his fear- 
less devotion to the victims of that terrible disease, 
who were dying by hundreds around them. But she 
had a large and sympathizing heart, and she never 
sought to dissuade him from what he considered the 
path of duty. When one of his brothers was strick- 
en with the fever, and the family with whom he re- 
sided were afraid to shelter him, she proposed to 
have him brought under their own roof, where he 
was carefully nursed till he died. She was more re- 
luctant to listen to his urgent entreaties that she 
would retire into the country with the children, and 


remain with them beyond the reach of contagion ; 
for her heart was divided between the husband of 
her youth and the nurslings of her bosom. *But his 
anxiety concerning their children was so great, that 
she finally consented to pursue the course most con- 
ducive to his peace of mind ; and he was left in the 
city with a colored domestic to superintend his house- 
hold affairs. Through this terrible ordeal of pesti- 
lence he passed unscathed, though his ever ready 
sympathy brought him into frequent contact with 
the dying and the dead. 

Besides this public calamity, which darkened the 
whole city for a time, Friend Hopper shared the 
common lot of humanity in the sad experiences of 
private life. Several of his children died at that at- 
tractive age, when the bud of infancy is blooming 
into childhood. Relatives and friends crossed the 
dark river to the unknown shore.- On New Year's 
day, 1797, his mother departed from this world at fif- 
ty-six years old. In 1818, his father died at seventy- 
five years of age. His physical vigor was remarka- 
ble. When he had weathered seventy winters, he 
went to visit his eldest son, and being disappointed 
in meeting the stage to return, as he expected, he 
walked home, a distance of twenty-eight miles. At 
that advanced age, he could rest one hand on his 
cane and the other on a fence, and leap over as easi- 
ly as a boy. He had long flowing black hair, which 


fell in ringlets on his shoulders ; and when he died, 
it was merely sprinkled with gray. When his pri- 
vate accounts were examined after his decease, they 
revealed the fact that he had secretly expended hun- 
dreds of dollars in paying the debts of poor people, 
or redeeming their furniture when it was attached. 

But though many dear ones dropped away from 
his side, as Friend Isaac moved onward in his pil- 
grimage, many remained to sustain and cheer him. 
Among his wife's brothers, his especial friend was 
John Tatum, who lived in the vicinity of his native 
village. This worthy man had great sympathy with 
the colored people, and often sheltered the fugitives 
whom his brother-in-law had rescued. He was re- 
markable for his love of peace ; always preferring to 
suffer wrong rather than dispute. The influence of 
this pacific disposition upon others was strikingly il- 
lustrated in the case of two of his neighbors. They 
were respectable people, in easy circumstances, and 
the families found much pleasure in frequent inter- 
course with each other. But after a few years, one 
of the men deemed that an intentional affront had 
been offered him by the other. Instead of good-na- 
tured frankness on the occasion, he behaved in a sul- 
len manner, which provoked the other, and the result 
was that eventually neither of them would speak 
when they met. Their fields joined, and when they 
were on friendly terms, the boundary was marked 


by a fence, which they alternately repaired. But 
when there was feud between them, neither of them 
was willing to mend the other's fence. So each one 
built a fence for himself, leaving a very narrow strip 
of land between, which in process of time came to 
be generally known by the name of Devil's Lane, in 
allusion to the bad temper that produced it. A 
brook formed another portion of the boundary be- 
tween their farms, and was useful to both of them. 
But after they became enemies, if a freshet occurred, 
each watched an opportunity to turn the water on 
the other's land, by which much damage was mutu- 
ally done. They were so much occupied with injur- 
ing each other in every possible way, that they neg- 
lected their farms and grew poorer and poorer. One 
of them became intemperate ; and everything about 
their premises began to wear an aspect of desolation 
and decay. At last, one of the farms was sold to 
pay a mortgage, and John Tatum, who was then 
about to be married, concluded to purchase it. Many 
people warned him of the trouble he would have 
with a quarrelsome and intemperate neighbor. But, 
after mature reflection, he concluded to trust to the 
influence of a peaceful and kind example, and ac- 
cordingly purchased the farm. 

Soon after he removed thither, he proposed to do 
away the Devil's Lane by building a new fence on 
the boundary, entirely at his own expense. His 


neighbor acceded to the proposition in a very surly 
manner, and for a considerable time seemed deter- 
mined to find, or make some occasion for quarrel. 
But the young Quaker met all his provocations with 
forbearance, and never missed an opportunity to 
oblige him. Good finally overcame evil. The tur- 
bulent spirit, having nothing to excite it, gradually 
subsided into calmness. In process of time, he 
evinced a disposition to be kind and obliging also. 
Habits of temperance, and industry returned, and 
during the last years of his life he was considered a 
remarkably good neighbor. 

Friend Hopper's attachment to the religious socie- 
ty he had joined in early life was quite as strong, 
perhaps even stronger, than his love of kindred. 
The Yearly Meeting of Friends at Philadelphia was 
a season of great satisfaction, and he delighted to 
have his house full of guests, even to overflowing. 
On these occasions, he obeyed the impulses of his 
generous nature by seeking out the least wealthy 
and distinguished, who would be less likely than 
others to receive many invitations. In addition to 
these, who were often persona] strangers to him, he had 
his own familiar and cherished friends. A day sel- 
dom passed without a visit from Nicholas Wain, who 
had great respect and affection for him and his wife, 
and delighted in their society. He cordially approv- 
ed of their consistency in carrying out their consci- 


entious convictions into the practices of daily life. 
Some of Isaac's relatives and friends thought he de- 
voted rather too much time and attention to philan- 
thropic missions, but Nicholas Wain always stood by 
him, a warm and faithful friend to the last. He was 
a true gentleman, of courtly, pleasing manners, and 
amusing conversation. Notwithstanding his weight 
of character, he was so playful with the children, 
that his visits were always hailed by them, as de- 
lightful opportunities for fun and irolic. He looked 
beneath the surface of society, and had learned to 
estimate men and things according to their real value, 
not by a conventional standard. His wife did not 
regard the pomps and vanities of the world with pre- 
cisely the same degree of indifference that he did. 
She thought it would be suitable to their wealth and 
station to have a footman behind her carriage. This 
wish being frequently expressed, her husband at last 
promised to comply with it. Accordingly, the next 
time the carriage was ordered, for the purpose oi 
making a stylish call, she was gratified to see a foot- 
man mounted. When she arrived at her place of 
destination, the door of her carriage was opened, and 
the steps let down in a very obsequious manner, by 
the new servant ; and great was her surprise and 
confusion, to recognize in him her own husband ! 

Jacob Lindley, of Chester county, was another 
frequent visitor at Friend Hopper's house ; and many 


were the lively conversations they had together. He 
was a preacher in the Society of Friends, and missed 
no opportunity, either in public or private, to protest 
earnestly against the sin of slavery. He often cau- 
tioned Friends against laying too much stress on their 
own peculiar forms, while they professed to abjure 
forms. He said he himself had once received a les- 
son on this subject, which did him much good. Once, 
when he was seated in meeting, an influential Friend 
walked in, dressed in a coat with large metal buttons, 
which he had borrowed in consequence of a drench- 
ing rain ! He seated himself opposite to Jacob 
Lindley, who was so much disturbed by the glitter- 
ing buttons, that "his meeting did him no good." 
When the congregation rose to depart, he felt con- 
strained to go up to the Friend who had so much 
troubled him, and inquire why he had so grievously 
departed from the simplicity enjoined upon members 
of their Society. The good man looked down upon 
his garments, and quietly replied, " I borrowed the 
coat because my own was wet ; and indeed, Jacob, 
I did not notice what buttons were on it." Jacob 
shook his hand warmly, and said, "Thou art a bet- 
ter Christian than I am, and I will learn of thee." 

He often used to inculcate the same moral by re- 
lating another incident, which happened in old times, 
when Quakers were accustomed to wear cocked hats 
turned up at the sides. A Friend bought a hat of 


this description, without observing that it was looped 
up with a button. As he sat in meeting with his hat 
on, as usual, he observed many eyes directed toward 
him, and some with a very sorrowful expression. 
He could not conjecture a reason for this, till he 
happened to take off his hat and lay it beside him. 
As soon as he noticed the button, he rose and said, 
''Friends, if religion consists in a button, I wouldn't 
give a button for it." Having delivered this short 
and pithy sermon, he seated himself, and resumed 
the offending hat with the utmost composure. 

Once, when Jacob Lindley was dining with Friend 
Hopper, the conversation turned upon his religious 
experiences, and he related a circumstance to which 
he said he very seldom alluded, and never without 
feelings of solemnity and awe. Being seized with 
sudden and severe illness, his soul left the body for 
several hours, during which time he saw visions of 
heavenly glory, not to be described. When con- 
sciousness began to return, he felt grieved that he 
was obliged to come back to this state of being, and 
he was never after able to feel the same interest in 
terrestrial things, that he had felt before he obtained 
this glimpse of the spiritual world. 

Arthur Howell was another intimate acquaintance 
of Friend Hopper. He was a currier in Philadel- 
phia, a preacher in the Society of Friends, charac- 
terized by kindly feelings, and a very tender con- 


science. Upon one occasion, he purchased from the 
captain of a vessel a quantity of oil, which he after- 
ward sold at an advanced price. Under these cir- 
cumstances, he thought the captain had not received 
so much as he ought to have ; and he gave him an 
additional dollar on every barrel. This man was re- 
maikable for spiritual-mindedness and the gift of 
prophecy. It was no uncommon thing for him to 
relate occurrences which were happening at the mo- 
ment many miles distant, and to foretell the arrival 
of people, or events, when there appeared to be no 
external reasons on which to ground such expecta- 

One Sunday morning, he was suddenly impelled 
to proceed to Germantown in haste. As he ap- 
proached the village, he met a funeral procession. 
He had no knowledge whatever of the deceased ; 
but it was suddenly revealed to him that the occu- 
pant of the coffin before him was a woman whose 
life had been saddened by the suspicion of a crime, 
which she never committed. The impression be- 
came very strong on his mind that she wished him 
to make certain statements at her funeral. Accord- 
ingly, he followed the procession, and when they 
arrived at the meeting-house, he entered and listened 
to the prayer delivered by her pastor. When the 
customary services were finished, Arthur Howell 
rose, and asked permission to speak. "I did not 


know the deceased, even by name," said he. "But 
it is given me to say, that she suffered much and 
unjustly. Her neighbors generally suspected her 
of a crime, which she did not commit ; and in a few 
weeks from this time, it will be made clearly mani- 
fest to the world that she was innocent. A few 
hours before her death, she talked on this subject 
with the clergyman who attended upon her, and 
who is now present ; and it is given me to declare 
the communication she made to him upon that oc- 

He then proceeded to relate the particulars of the 
interview ; to which the clergyman listened with 
evident astonishment. When the communication 
was finished, he said, "I don't know who this man 
is, or how he has obtained information on this sub- 
ject ; but certain it is, he has repeated, word for 
word, a conversation which I supposed was known 
only to myself and the deceased." 

The woman in question had gone out in the fields 
one day, with her infant in her arms, and she re- 
turned without it. She said she had laid it down 
on a heap of dry leaves, while she went to pick a 
few flowers ; and when she returned, the baby was 
gone. The fields and woods were searched in vain, 
and neighbors began to whisper that she had com- 
mitted infanticide. Then rumors arose that she was 
dissatisfied with her marriage ; that her heart re- 


mained with a young man to whom she was pre- 
viously engaged ; and that her brain was affected by 
this secret unhappiness. She was never publicly ac- 
cused ; partly because there was no evidence against 
her, and partly because it was supposed that if she 
did commit the crime, it must have been owing to 
aberation of mind. But she became aware of the 
whisperings against her, and the consciousness of 
being an object of suspicion, combined with the 
mysterious disappearance of her child, cast a heavy 
cloud over her life, and made her appear more and 
more unlike her former self. This she confided to 
her clergyman, in the interview shortly preceding 
her death ; and she likewise told him that the young 
man, to whom she had been engaged, had never for- 
given her for not marrying him. 

A few weeks after her decease, this young man 
confessed that he had stolen the babe. He had fol- 
lowed the mother, unobserved by her, and had seen 
her lay the sleeping infant on its bed of leaves. As 
he gazed upon it, a mingled feeling of jealousy and 
revenge took possession of his soul. In obedience 
to a sudden impulse, he seized the babe, and carried 
it off hastily. He subsequently conveyed it to a dis- 
tant village, and placed it out to nurse, under an 
assumed name and history. The child was found 
alive and well, at the place he indicated. Thus the 
mother's innocence was made clearly manifest to the 


world, as the Quaker preacher had predicted at her 

I often heard Friend Hopper relate this anecdote, 
and he always said that he could vouch for the 
truth of it ; and for several other similar things in 
connection with the ministry of his friend Arthur. 

A singular case of inward perception likewise oc- 
curred in the experience of his own mother. In her 
Diary, which is still preserved in the family, she 
describes a visit to some of her children in Phila- 
delphia, and adds : " Soon after this, the Lord showed 
me that I should lose a son. It was often told me, 
though without sound of words. Nothing could be 
more intelligible than this still, small voice. It 
said, Thou wilt lose a son ; and he is a pleasant 

Her son James resided with relatives in Philadel- 
phia, and often went to bathe in the Delaware. On 
one of these occasions, soon after his mother's visit, 
a friend who went with him sank in the water, and 
James lost his own life by efforts to save him. A 
messenger was sent to inform his parents, who lived 
at the distance of eight miles. While he staid in 
the house, reluctant to do his mournful errand, the 
mother was siezed with sudden dread, and heard 
the inward voice saying, "James is drowned." She 
said abruptly to the messenger, "Thou hast come 
to tell me that my son James is drowned. Oh, how 


did it happen ? " He was much surprised, and asked 
why she thought so. She could give no explanation 
of it, except that it had been suddenly revealed to 
her mind. 

I have heard and read many such stories of Qua- 
kers, which seem too well authenticated to admit of 
doubt. They themselves refer all such cases to "the 
inward light ; " and that phrase, as they understand 
it, conveys a satisfactory explanation to their minds. 
I leave psychologists to settle the question as they 

Those who are well acquainted with Quaker views, 
are aware that by "the inward light," they signify 
something higher and more comprehensive than con- 
science. They regard it as the voice of God in the 
soul, which will always guard man from evil, and 
guide him into truth, if reverently listened to, in 
stillness of the passions, and obedience of the will. 
These strong impressions on individual minds con- 
stitute their only call and consecration to the minis- 
try, and have directed them in the application of 
moral principles to a variety of subjects, such as in- 
temperance, war, and slavery. Men and women 
were impelled by the interior monitor to go about 
preaching on these topics, until their individual views 
became what are called "leading testimonies" in the 
Society. The abjuration of slavery was one of their 
earliest "testimonies." There was much preaching 


against it in their public meetings, and many com- 
mittees were appointed to expostulate in private with 
those who held slaves. At an early period, it be- 
came an established rule of discipline for the Society 
to disown any member, who refused to manumit his 

Friend Hopper used to tell an interesting anecdote 
in connection with these committees. In the course 
of their visits, they concluded to pass by one of 
their members, who held only one slave, and he was 
very old. He was too infirm to earn his own living, 
and as he was very kindly treated, they supposed he 
would have no wish for freedom. But Isaac Jack- 
son, one of the committee, a very benevolent and 
conscientious man, had a strong impression on his 
mind that duty required him not to omit this case. 
He accordingly went alone to the master, and stated 
how the subject appeared to him, in the inward light 
of his own soul. The Friend was not easily con- 
vinced. He brought forward many reasons for not 
emancipating his slave ; and one of the strongest 
was that the man was too feeble to labor for his own 
support, and therefore freedom would be of no value 
to him. Isaac Jackson replied, "He labored for 
thee without wages, while he had strength, and it is 
thy duty to support him now. Whether he would 
value freedom or not, is a question he alone is com- 
petent to decide." 


These friendly remonstrances produced such effect, 
that the master agreed to manumit his bondman, 
and ffive a written obligation that he should be com- 
(ortably supported during the remainder of his life, 
by him or his heirs. When the papers were prepar- 
ed the slave was called into the parlor, and Isaac 
Jackson inquired, "Would'st thou like to be free?" 
He promptly answered that he should. The Friend 
suggested that he was now too feeble to labor much, 
and inquired how he would manage to obtain a liv- 
ing. The old man meekly replied, " Providence has 
been kind to me thus far ; and I am willing to trust 
him the rest of my life." 

Isaac Jackson then held up the papers and said, 
"Thou art a free man. Thy master has manumitted 
thee, and promised to maintain thee as long as thou 
may est live." 

This was so unexpected, that the aged bondman 
was completely overcome. For a few moments, he 
remained in profound silence ; then, with a sudden 
impulse, he fell on his knees, and poured forth a 
short and fervent prayer of thanksgiving to his 
Heavenly Father, for prolonging his life till he had 
the happiness to feel himself a free man. 

The master and his adviser were both surprised 
and affected by this eloquent outburst of grateful 
feeling. The poor old servant had seemed so com- 
fortable and contented, that no one supposed freedom 


was of great importance to him. But, as honest 
Isaac Jackson observed, he alone was competent to 
decide that question. 

Quakers consider "the inward light" as a guide 
not merely in cases involving moral principles, but 
also in the regulation of external affairs ; and in the 
annals of their Society, are some remarkable instan- 
ces of dangers avoided by the help of this internal 

Friend Hopper used, to mention a case where a 
strong impression had been made on his own mind, 
without his being able to assign any adequate reason 
for it. A young man, descended from a highly re- 
spectable Quaker family in New-Jersey, went to 
South Carolina and entered into business. He mar- 
ried there, and as his wife did not belong to the So- 
ciety of Friends, he was of course disowned. After 
some years of commercial success, he failed, and 
went to Philadelphia, where Friend Hopper became 
acquainted with him, and formed an opinion not un- 
favorable. When he had been in that city some 
time, he mentioned that his wife owned land in Caro- 
lina, which he was very desirous to cultivate, but 
was prevented by conscientious scruples concerning 
slave-labor. He said if he could induce some colored 
people from Philadelphia to go there and work for 
him as free laborers, it would be an advantage to 
him, and a benefit to them. He urged Friend Hop- 


per to exert his influence over them to convince 
them that such precautions could be taken, as would 
prevent any danger of their being reduced to slave- 
ry ; saying that if he would consent to do so, he 
doubtless could obtain as many laborers as he want- 
ed. The plan appeared feasible, and Friend Hopper 
was inclined to assist him in carrying it into execu- 
tion. Soon after, two colored men called upon him, 
and said they were ready to go, provided he thought 
well of the project. Nothing had occurred to change 
his opinion of the man, or to excite distrust concern- 
ing his agricultural scheme. But an impression came 
upon his mind that the laborers had better not go ; 
an impression so strong, that he thought it right to 
be influenced by it. He accordingly told them' he 
had thought well of the plan, but his views had 
changed, and he advised them to remain where they 
were. This greatly surprised the man who wished 
to employ them, and he called to expostulate on the 
subject ; repeating his statement concerning the 
great advantage they would derive from entering in- 
to his service. 

"There is no use in arguing the matter," replied 
Friend Hopper. "I have no cause whatever to sus- 
pect thee of any dishonest or dishonorable inten- 
tions ; but there is on my mind an impression of dan- 
ger, so powerful that I cannot conscientiously have 


any agency in inducing colored laborers to go with 

Xot succeeding in his project, the bankrupt mer- 
chant went to New-Jersey for a time, to reside with 
his father, who was a worthy and influential member 
of the Society of Friends. An innocent, good na- 
tured old colored man, a fugitive from Virginia, had 
for some time been employed to work on the farm, 
and the family had become much attached to him. 
The son who had returned from Carolina was very 
friendly with this simple-hearted old servant, and 
easily gained his confidence. When he had learned 
his story, he offered to write to his master, and ena- 
ble him to purchase his freedom for a sum which he 
could gradually repay by labor. The fugitive was 
exceedingly grateful, and put himself completely in 
his power by a full statement of all particulars. 
The false-hearted man did indeed write to the mas- 
ter ; and the poor old slave was soon after arrested 
and carried to Philadelphia in irons. Friend Hop- 
per was sent for, and went to see him in prison. 
With groans and sobs, the captive told how wickedly 
he had been deceived. "I thought he was a Quaker, 
and so I trusted him," said he. "But I saw my 
master's agent pay him fifty dollars for betraying me." 

Friend Hopper assured him that the deceiver was 
not a Quaker ; and that he did not believe any Qua- 
ker on the face of the earth would do such an unjust 



and cruel deed. He could devise no means to rescue 
the sufferer ; and with an aching heart he was com- 
pelled to see him carried off into slavery, without 
being able to offer any other solace than an affec- 
tionate farewell. 

The conduct of this base hypocrite proved that 
the warning presentiment against him had not been 
without foundation. Grieved and indignant at the 
wrong he had done to a helpless and unoffending fel- 
low-creature, Friend Hopper wrote to him as fol- 
lows : "Yesterday, I visited the poor old man in 
prison, whom thou hast so perfidiously betrayed. 
Gloomy and hopeless as his case is, I would prefer it 
to thine. Thou hast received fifty dollars as the re- 
ward of thy treachery ; but what good can it do 
thee ? Canst thou lay down thy head at night, with- 
out feeling the sharp goadings of a guilty conscience ? 
Canst thou ask forgiveness of thy sins of our Heav- 
enly Father, whom thou hast so grievously insulted 
by thy hypocrisy ? Judas betrayed his master for 
thirty pieces of silver, and afterward hung himself. 
Thou hast betrayed thy brother for fifty ; and if thy 
conscience is not seared, as with hot iron, thy com- 
punction must be great. I feel no disposition to up- 
braid thee. I have no doubt thy own heart does that 
sufficiently ; for our beneficent Creator will not suffer 
any to be at ease in their sins. Thy friend, I. T. H." 

The worthy old Quaker in New- Jersey was not 


aware of his son's villainous conduct until some 
time after. When the circumstances were made 
known to the family they were exceedingly morti- 
fied and afflicted. 

Friend Hopper used to tell another story, which 
forms a beautiful contrast to the foregoing painful 
narrative. I repeat it, because it illustrates the ten- 
derness of spirit, which has so peculiarly character- 
ized the Society of Friends, and because I hope it 
may fall like dew on hearts parched by vindictive 
feelings. Charles Carey lived near Philadelphia, in 
a comfortable house with a few acres of pasture ad- 
joining. A young horse, apparently healthy, though 
lean, w T as one day offered him in the market for fifty 
dollars. The cheapness tempted him to purchase ; 
for he thought the clover of his pastures would soon 
put the animal in good condition, and enable him to 
sell him at an advanced price. He was too poor to 
command the required sum himself, but he borrowed 
it of a friend. The horse, being well fed and lightly 
worked, soon became a noble looking animal r and 
was taken to the city for sale. But scarcely had he 
entered the market, when a stranger stepped up and 
claimed him as his property, recently stolen. Charles 
Carey's son, who had charge of the animal, was 
taken before a magistrate. Isaac T. Hopper was 
sent for, and easily proved that the character of the 
young man and his father was above all suspicion. 


But the stranger produced satisfactory evidence that 
he was the rightful owner of the horse, which was 
accordingly delivered up to him. When Charles 
Carey heard the unwelcome news, he quietly re- 
marked, " It is hard for me to lose the money ; but 
I am glad the man has recovered his property." 

About a year afterward, having occasion to go to 
a tavern in Philadelphia, he saw a man in the bar- 
room, whom he at once recognized as the person 
who had sold him the horse. He walked up to him, 
and inquired whether he remembered the transac- 
tion. Being answered in the affirmative, he said, 
"I am the man who bought that horse. Didst thou 
know he was stolen ?" With a stupified manner and 
a faltering voice, the stranger answered, "Yes." 

" Come along w 7 ith me, then," said Charles ; "and 
I will put thee where thou wilt not steal another 
horse very soon." 

The thief resigned himself to his fate with a sort 
of hopeless indifference. But before they reached 
the magistrate's office, the voice within began to 
plead gently with the Quaker, and turned him from 
the sternness of his purpose. "I am a poor man," 
said he, "and thou hast greatly injured me. I can- 
not afford to lose fifty dollars ; but to prosecute thee 
will not compensate me for the loss. Go thy way, 
and conduct thyself honestly in future." 

The man seemed amazed. He stood for a mo- 


ment, hesitating and confused ; then walked slowly 
away. But after taking a few steps, he turned back 
and said, "Where can I find you, if I should ever 
be able to make restitution for the wrong T have 
done f" 

Charles replied, "I trust thou dost not intend to 
jest with me, after all the trouble thou hast caused 

"No, indeed I do not," answered the stranger. 
"I hope to repay you, some time or other." 

"Very well," rejoined the Friend, "if thou ever 
hast anything for me, thou canst leave it with Isaac 
T. Hopper, at the corner of Walnut and Dock- 
streets." Thus they parted, and never met again. 

About a year after, Friend .Hopper found a letter 
on his desk, addressed to Charles Carey. When it 
was delivered to him, he was surprised to find that it 
came from the man who had stolen the horse, and 
contained twenty dollars. A few months later, an- 
other letter containing the same sum, was left in the 
same way. Not long after, a third letter arrived, 
enclosing twenty dollars ; the whole forming a sum 
sufficient to repay both principal and interest of the 
money which the kind-hearted Quaker had lost by 
his dishonesty. 

This last letter stated that the writer had no 
thoughts of stealing the horse ten minutes before he 
did it. After he had sold him, he was so haunted by 


remorse and fear of detection, that life became a 
burthen to him, and he cared not what became of 
him. But when he was arrested, and so unexpect- 
edly set at liberty, the crushing weight was taken 
from him. He felt inspired by fresh courage, and 
sustained by the hope of making some atonement for 
what he had done. He made strenuous efforts to 
improve his condition, and succeeded. He was then 
teaching school, was assessor of the township where 
he resided, and no one suspected that he had ever 
committed a dishonest action. 

The good man, to whom this epistle was address- 
ed, read it with moistened eyes, and felt that the re- 
ward of righteousness is peace. 

For many years after Isaac T. Hopper joined the 
Society of Friends, a spirit of peace and of kindly 
communion prevailed among them. No sect has 
ever arisen which so nearly approached the charac- 
ter of primitive Christianity, in all relations with 
each other and with their fellow men. But as soon 
as the early christians were relieved from persecu- 
tion, they began to persecute each other ; and so it 
was with the Quakers. Having become established 
and respected by the world, the humble and self-de- 
nying spirit which at the outset renounced and con- 
tended with the world gradually departed. Many 
of them were rich, and not unfrequently their for- 
tunes were acquired by trading with slave-holders. 


Such men were well satisfied to have the testimonies 
of their spiritual forefathers against slavery read 
over among themselves, at stated seasons ; but they 
felt little sympathy with those of their cotemporanes, 
who considered it a duty to remonstrate publicly and 
freely with all who were connected with the iniqui- 
tous system. 

A strong and earnest preacher, by the name of 
Elias Hicks, made himself more offensive than others 
in this respect. He appears to have been a very 
just and conscientious man, with great reverence for 
God, and exceedingly little for human authority. 
Everywhere, in public and in private, he lifted up his 
voice against the sin of slavery. He would eat no 
sugar that was made by slaves, and wear no gar- 
ment which he supposed to have been produced by 
unpaid labor. In a remarkable manner, he showed 
this "ruling passion strong in death." A few hours 
before he departed from this world, his friends, see- 
ing him shiver, placed a comfortable over him. He 
felt of it with his feeble hands, and made a strong 
effort to push it away. When they again drew it up 
over his shoulders, he manifested the same symp- 
toms of abhorrence. One of them, who began to 
conjecture the cause, inquired, "Dost thou dislike 
it because it is made of cotton ?" He was too far 
gone to speak, but he moved his head in token of as- 
sent. When they removed the article of slave pro- 


duce, and substituted a woolen blanket, he remained 
quiet, and passed away in peace. 

He was accustomed to say, "It takes live fish to 
swim up stream ;" and unquestionably he and his 
friend Isaac T. Hopper were both very much alive. 
The quiet boldness of this man was altogether unman- 
ageable. In Virginia or Carolina, he preached more 
earnestly and directly against slavery, than he did in 
New-York or Pennsylvania , for the simple reason 
that it seemed to be more needed there. Upon one 
of these occasions, a slaveholder who went to hear 
him from curiosity, left the meeting in great wrath, 
swearing he would blow out that fellow's brains if he 
ventured near his plantation. When the preacher 
heard of this threat, he put on his hat and proceeded 
straightway to the forbidden place. In answer to his 
inquiries, a slave informed him that his master was 
then at dinner, but would see him in a short time. 
He seated himself and waited patiently until the 
planter entered the room. With a calm and digni- 
fied manner, he thus addressed him : "I understand 
thou hast threatened to blow out the brains of Elias 
Hicks, if he comes upon thy plantation. I am Elias 

The Virginian acknowledged that he did make 
such a threat, and said he considered it perfectly jus- 
tifiable to do such a deed, when a man came to 
preach rebellion to his slaves* 


" I came to preach the Gospel, which inculcates 
forgiveness of injuries upon slaves as well as upon 
other men," replied the Quaker. " But tell me, if 
thou canst, how this Gospel can be truly preached, 
without showing the slaves that they are injured, 
and thus making a man of thy sentiments feel as if 
they were encouraged in rebellion." 

This led to a long argument, maintained in the 
most friendly spirit. At parting, the slaveholder 
shook hands with the preacher, and invited him to 
come again. His visits were renewed, and six 
months after, the Virginian emancipated all his slaves. 

When preaching in the free states, he earnestly 
called upon all to abstain from slave-produce, and 
thus in a measure wash their own hands from parti- 
cipation in a system of abominable wickedness and 
cruelty. His zeal on this subject annoyed some of 
his brethren, but they could not make him amena 
ble to discipline for it ; for these views were in ac- 
cordance with the earliest and strongest testimonies 
of the Society of Friends ; moreover, it would have 
been discreditable to acknowledge such a ground of 
offence. But the secret dissatisfaction showed itself 
in a disposition to find fault with him. Charges 
were brought against his doctrines. He was accused 
of denying the authority of Scripture, and the di- 
vinity of Christ. 

Tt was a departure from the original basis of the 



Society to assume any standard whatsoever con- 
cerning creeds. It is true that the early Quakers 
wrote volumes of controversy against many of the 
prevailing opinions of their day ; such as the doctrine 
of predestination, and of salvation depending upon 
faith, rather than upon works. All the customary 
external observances, such as holy days, baptism, 
and the Lord's Supper, they considered as belonging 
to a less spiritual age, and that the time had come 
for them to be done away. Concerning the Trinity, 
there appears to have been difference of opinion 
among them from the earliest time. When George 
Fox expressed a fear that William Penn had gone 
too far in defending "the true unity of God," Penn 
replied that he had never heard any one speak more 
plainly concerning the manhood of Christ, than 
George Fox himself. Penn was imprisoned in the 
Tower for "rejecting the mystery of the Trinity," in 
a book called "The Sandy Foundation Shaken." 
He afterward wrote "Innocency with her Open 
Face," regarded by some as a compromise, which 
procured his release. But though various popular 
doctrines naturally came in their way, and chal- 
lenged discussion, while they were endeavoring to 
introduce a new order of things, the characteristic 
feature of their movement was attention to practical 
righteousness rather than theological tenets. They 
did not require their members to profess faith in any 


creed. They had but one single bond of union ; 
and that was the belief that every man ought to be 
guided in his actions, and in the interpretation of 
Scripture, by the light within his own soul. Their 
history shows that they mainly used this light to 
guide them in the application of moral principles. 
Upon the priesthood, in every form, they made un- 
sparing warfare ; believing that the gifts of the Spirit 
ought never to be paid with money. They appointed 
committees to visit the sick, the afflicted, and the 
destitute, and to superintend marriages and funerals. 
The farmer, the shoemaker, the physician, or the 
merchant, followed his vocation diligently, and when- 
ever the Spirit moved him to exhort his brethren, he 
did so. The "First, and Fifth Day" of the week, 
called by other denominations Sunday and Thurs- 
day, were set apart by them for religious meetings. 
Women were placed on an equality with men, by 
being admitted to this free Gospel ministry, and ap- 
pointed on committees with men, to regulate the 
affairs of the Society. They abjured war under all 
circumstances, and suffered great persecution rather 
than pay military taxes.' They early discouraged 
the distillation or use of spirituous liquors, and dis- 
owned any of their members who distilled them from 
grain. Protests against slavery were among their 
most earnest testimonies, and it was early made a 
rule of discipline that no member of the Society 


should hold slaves. When the Quakers first arose, 
it was a custom in England, as it still is on the con- 
tinent of Europe, to say thou to an inferior, or equal, 
and you to a superior. They saw in this custom an 
infringement of the great law of human brotherhood ; 
and because they would "call no man master," they 
said thou to every person, without distinction of 
rank. To the conservatives of their day, this spirit- 
ual democracy seemed like deliberate contempt of 
authority ; and as such, deserving of severe punish- 
ment. More strenuously than all other things, they 
denied the right of any set of men to prescribe a 
creed for others. The only authority they recog- 
nized was "the light within ;" and for freedom to 
follow this, they were always ready to suffer or to 

On all these subjects, there could be no doubt 
that Elias Hicks was a Quaker of the old genuine 
stamp. But he differed from many others in some 
of his theological views. He considered Christ as 
"the only Son of the most high God;" but he de- 
nied that "the outward person" which suffered on 
Calvary w r as properly the Son of God. He attached 
less importance to miracles, than did many of his 
brethren. He said he had learned more of his own 
soul, and had clearer revelations of God and duty, 
while following his plough, than from all the books 
he had ever read. He reverenced the Bible as a 


record of divine power and goodness, but did not 
consider a knowledge of it essential to salvation ; 
for he supposed that a Hindoo or an African, who 
never heard of the Scriptures, or of Christ, might 
become truly a child of God, if he humbly and sin- 
cerely followed the divine light within, given to 
every human soul, according to the measure of its 

Many of his brethren, whose views assimilated 
more with orthodox opinions, accused him of having 
departed from the principles of early Friends. But 
his predecessors had been guided only by the light 
within ; and he followed the same guide, without de- 
ciding beforehand precisely how far it might lead 
.him. This principle, if sincerely adopted and con- 
sistently applied, would obviously lead to large and 
liberal results, sufficient for the progressive growth 
of all coming ages. It was so generally admitted to 
be the one definite bond of union among early 
Friends, that the right of Elias Hicks to utter his 
own convictions, whether they w T ere in accordance 
with others or not, would probably never have been 
questioned, if some influential members of the Socie- 
ty had not assumed more power than was delegated 
to them ; thereby constituting themselves a kind of 
ecclesiastical tribunal. It is the nature of such au- 
thority to seek enlargement of its boundaries, by en- 
croaching more and more on individual freedom. 


The friends of Elias Hicks did not adopt his views 
or the views of any other man as a standard of opin- 
ion. On the subject of the Trinity, for instance, 
there were various shadings of opinion among them. 
The probability seems to be that the influence of 
Unitarian sects, and of Orthodox sects had, in the 
course of years, gradually glided in among the Qua- 
kers, and more or less fashioned their theological 
opinions, though themselves were unconscious of it ; 
as we all are of the surrounding air we are constant- 
ly inhaling. 

But it was not the Unitarianism of Elias Hicks 
that his adherents fought for, or considered it neces- 
sary to adopt. They simply contended for his right 
to express his own convictions, and denied the autho- 
rity of any man, or body of men, to judge his preach- 
ing by the assumed standard of any creed. There- 
fore, the real ground of the struggle seems to have 
been resistance to ecclesiastical power ; though theo- 
logical opinions unavoidably became intertwisted 
with it. It was a new form of the old battle, per- 
petually renewed ever since the world began, be- 
tween authority and individual freedom. 

The agitation, which had for some time been 
heaving under the surface, is said to have been 
brought into open manifestation by a sermon which 
Elias Hicks preached against the use of slave pro- 
duce, in 1819. A bitter warfare followed. Those 


who refused to denounce his opinions were accused 
of being infidels and separatists ; and they called 
their accusers bigoted and intolerant. With regard* 
to disputed doctrines, both claimed to find sufficient 
authority in the writings of early Friends ; and each 
side charged the other with mutilating and misrepre- 
senting those writings. As usual in theological con- 
troversies, the skein became more and more entan- 
gled, till there was no way left but to cut it in two. 
In 1827 and 1828, a separation took place in the 
Yearly Meetings of Philadelphia, New-York, and 
several other places. Thenceforth, the members 
were divided into two distinct sects. In some places 
the friends of Elias Hicks were far the more nu- 
merous. In others, his opponents had a majority. 
Each party claimed to be the genuine Society of 
•Friends, and denied the other's right to retain the 
title. The opponents of Elias Hicks called them- 
selves "Orthodox Friends," and named his adherents 
"Hicksites." The latter repudiated the title, be- 
cause they did not acknowledge him as their stan- 
dard of belief, though they loved and reverenced his 
character, and stood by him as the representative 
of liberty of conscience. They called themselves 
•'Friends," and the others "the Orthodox." 

The question which was the genuine Society of 
Friends was more important than it would seem to a 
mere looker on ; for large pecuniary interests were 


involved therein. It is well known that Quakers 
form a sort of commonwealth by themselves, within 
the civil commonwealth by which they are governed. 
They pay the public school-tax, and in addition build 
their own school-houses, and employ teachers of 
their own Society. They support their own poor, 
while they pay the same pauper tax as other citi- 
zens. They have burying grounds apart from others, 
because they have conscientious scruples concerning 
monuments and epitaphs. Of course, the question 
which of the two contending parties was the true 
Society of Friends involved the question who owned 
the meeting-houses, the burying grounds, and the 
school funds. The friends of Elias Hicks offered to 
divide the property, according to the relative num- 
bers of each party ; but those called Orthodox refused 
to accept the proposition. Lawsuits were brought 
in various parts of the country. What a bitter state 
of animosity existed may be conjectured from the 
fact that the " Orthodox" in Philadelphia refused to 
allow "Hicksites" to bury their dead in the ground, 
belonging to the undivided Society of Friends. On 
the occasion of funerals, they refused to deliver up 
the key ; and after their opponents had remonstrated 
in vain, they forced the lock. 

I believe in almost every instance, where the 
"Hicksites" were a majority, and thus had a claim 
to the larger share of property, they offered to di- 


vide in proportion to the relative numbers of the two 
parties. After the separation in New- York, they re- 
newed this offer, which had once been rejected ; and 
the " Orthodox" finally agreed to accept a stipulated 
sum for their interest in the property. The Friends 
called "Hicksites" numbered in the whole more than 
seventy thousand. 

Quakers in England generally took part against 
Elias Hicks and his friends. Some, who were styled 
"The Evangelical Party," went much beyond their 
brethren in conformity with the prevailing denomi- 
nations of Christians called Orthodox. Many of 
them considered a knowledge of the letter of Scrip- 
ture essential to salvation ; and some even approved 
of baptism by water ; a singular departure from the 
total abrogation of external rites, which characterized 
Quakerism from the beginning. William and Mary 
Howitt, the well known and highly popular English 
writers, were born members of this religious Society. 
In an article concerning the Hicksite controversy, 
written for the London Christian Advocate, the for- 
mer says: "My opinion is, that Friends will see 
cause to repent the excision of thatgreat portion of 
their own body, on the plea of heretical opinions. 
By sanctioning it, they are bound, if they act im- 
partially and consistently, to expel others also for 
heterodox opinions. This comes of violating the sa- 
cred liberty of conscience ; of allowing ourselves to 


be infected with the leaven of a blind zeal, instead 
of the broad philanthropy of Christ. Is tfiere no 
belter alternative ? Yes. To adopt the principle of 
William Penn ; to allow freedom of opinion ; and 
while we permit the Evangelical party to hold their 
favorite notions, so long as they consent to conform 
to our system of public worship, to confess that we 
have acted harshly to the Hicksites, and open our 
arms to all who are sincere in their faith, and orderly 
m their conduct." 

As the adherents of Elias Hicks at that time 
represented freedom of conscience, of course Isaac 
T. Hopper belonged to that party, and advocated it 
with characteristic zeal. In fact, he seems to have 
been the Napoleon of the battle. It was not in his 
nature intentionally to misrepresent any man ; and 
even when the controversy was raging most furious- 
ly, I believe there never was a time when he would 
not willingly have acknowledged a mistake the mo- 
ment he perceived it. But his temperament was 
such, that wherever he deemed a principle of truth, 
justice, or freedom was at stake, he could never quit 
an adversary till he had demolished him completely, 
and convinced him that he was demolished ; though 
he often felt great personal kindness toward the indi- 
vidual thus prostrated, and was always willing to 
render him any friendly service. He used to say 
that his resistance in this controversy was principally 


roused by the disposition which he saw manifested 
"to crush worthy, innocent Friends, for mere differ- 
ence of opinion ;" and no one, who knew him well, 
could doubt that on this subject, as on others, he was 
impelled by a sincere love of truth and justice. But 
neither he nor any other person ever entered the 
lists of theological controversy without paying dearly 
for the encounter. Perpetual strife grieved and dis- 
turbed his own spirit, while his energy, perseverance, 
and bluntness of speech, gained him many enemies. 
Wherever this unfortunate sectarian schism was in- 
troduced, it divided families, and burst asunder the 
bonds of friendship. For a long time, they seemed 
to be a Society of Enemies, instead of a Society of 
Friends. In this respect, no one suffered more acute- 
ly than Isaac T. Hopper. It was his nature to form 
very strong friendships ; and at this painful junc- 
ture, many whom he had long loved and trusted, 
parted from him. Among them was his cousin Jo- 
seph Whit all, who had embraced Quakerism at the 
same period of life, who had been the friend of his 
boyhood, and the cherished companion of later years. 
They had no personal altercation, but their intimacy 
gradually cooled off, and they became as strangers. 

He had encountered other difficulties also, at a 
former period of his life, the shadows of which still 
lay across his path. About twelve or fifteen years 
after his marriage, his health began to fail. His 


vigorous frame pined away to a mere shadow, and 
he was supposed to be in a consumption. At the 
same time, he found himself involved in pecuniary 
difficulties, the burden of which weighed very heavi- 
ly upon him, for many reasons. His strong sense of 
justice made it painful for him to owe debts he could 
not pay. He had an exceeding love of imparting to 
others, and these pecuniary impediments tied down 
his large soul with a thousand Lilliputian cords. He 
had an honest pride of independence, which chafed 
under any obligation that could be avoided. His 
strong attachment to the Society of Friends rendered 
him sensitive to their opinion ; and at that period 
their rules were exceedingly strict concerning any of 
their members, who contracted debts they were una- 
ble to pay. People are always ready to censure a 
man who is unprosperous in worldly affairs ; and if 
his character is such as to render him prominent, he 
is all the more likely to be handled harshly. Of 
these trials Friend Hopper had a large share, and 
they disturbed him exceedingly; but the conscious- 
ness of upright intentions kept him from sinking un- 
der the weight that pressed upon him. 

He was always a very industrious man, and what- 
ever he did was well done. But the fact was, the 
claims upon his time and attention were too numer- 
ous to be met by any one mortal man. He had a 
large family to support, and during many years his 


house was a home for poor Quakers, and others, 
from far and near. He had much husiness to trans- 
act in the Society of Friends, of which he was then 
an influential and highly respected member. He 
was one of the founders and secretary of a society 
for the employment of the poor ; overseer of the 
Benezet school for colored children ; teacher, with- 
out recompense, in a free school for colored adults ; 
inspector of the prison, without a salary ; member 
of a fire-company ; guardian of abused apprentices ; 
the lawyer and protector of slaves and colored peo- 
ple, upon all occasions. When pestilence was rag- 
ing, he was devoted to the sick. The poor were 
continually calling upon him to plead with importu- 
nate landlords and creditors. He was not unfre- 
quenlly employed to settle estates involved in diffi- 
culties, which others were afraid to undertake. He 
had occasional applications to exert influence over 
the insane, for which he had peculiar tact. When 
he heard of a man beginning to form habits likely to 
prove injurious to himself or his family, he would go 
to him, whether his rank were high or low, and have 
private conversations with him. He would tell him 
some story, or suppose some case', and finally make 
him feel, "Thou art the man." He had a great gift 
in that way, and the exertion of it sometimes sea- 
sonably recalled those who were sliding into danger- 
ous paths. 


When one reflects upon the time that must have 
been bestowed on all these avocations, do his pecu- 
niary embarrassments require any further explana- 
tion ? A member of his own Society summed up 
the case very justly in few words. Hearing him 
censured by certain individuals, she replied, "The 
whole amount of it is this : — the Bible requires us 
to love our neighbor as well as ourselves ; and Friend 
Isaac has loved them better." 

These straitened circumstances continued during 
the remainder of his residence in Philadelphia ; and 
his family stood by him nobly through the trial. 
Household expenses were reduced within the small- 
est possible limits. His wife opened a tea-store, as 
an available means of increasing their income. The 
simple dignity of her manners, and her pleasing way 
of talking, attracted many ladies, even among the 
fashionable, who liked to chat with the handsome 
Quaker matron, while they were purchasing house- 
hold stores. The elder daughters taught school, and 
took upon themselves double duty in the charge of a 
large family of younger children. How much they 
loved and honored their father, was indicated by their 
zealous efforts to assist and sustain him. I have 
heard him tell, with much emotion, how one of them 
slipped some of her earnings into his pocket, while 
he slept in his arm-chair. She was anxious to save 

him from the pain of being unable to meet necessary 


expenses, and at the same time to keep him ignorant 
of the source whence relief came. 

His spirit of independence never bent under the 
pressure of misfortune. He was willing to deprive 
himself of everything, except the simplest necessaries 
of life ; but he struggled manfully against incurring 
obligations. There was a Quaker fund for the gra- 
tuitous education of children ; but when he was 
urged to avail himself of it, he declined, because 
he thought such funds ought to be reserved for 
those whose necessities were greater than his own. 

The government added its exactions to other pe- 
cuniary annoyances ; but it had no power to warp 
the inflexibility of his principles. He had always 
refused to pay the militia tax, because, in common 
with all conscientious Quakers, he considered it 
wrong to do anything for the support of war. It 
seems no more than just that a sect, who pay a 
double school-tax, and a double pauper-tax, and who 
almost never occasion the state any expense by their 
crimes, should be excused for believing themselves 
bound to obey the injunction of Jesus, to return good 
for evil ; but politicians have decided that practical 
Christianity is not always consistent with the duty 
of citizens. Accordingly, when Friend Hopper re- 
fused to pay for guns and swords, to shoot and stab 
his fellow men, they seized his goods to pay the tax. 
The articles chosen were often of much greater value 


than their demand, and were sacrificed by a hurried 
and careless sale. His wife had received a handsome 
outfit from her father, at the time of her marriage ; 
but she was destined to see one article of furniture 
after another seized to pay the military fines, which 
were alike abhorrent to her heart and her conscience. 
Among these articles, was a looking glass, of an 
unusually large and clear plate, which was valuable 
as property, and dear to her as a bridal gift from her 
parents. She could not see it carried off by the 
officer, to meet the expenses of military reviews, 
without a sigh — perhaps a tear. But she was not 
a woman ever to imply a wish to have her husband 
compromise his principles. 

Thus bearing up bravely against the pelting storms 
of life, he went on, hand in hand with his beloved 
Sarah. But at last, he was called to part with the 
steady friend and pleasant companion of his brightest 
and his darkest hours. She passed from him into 
the spiritual world on the eighteenth of the Sixth 
Month, (June,) 1822, in the forty-seventh year of her 
age. She suffered much from the wasting pains of 
severe dyspepsia ; but religious hope and faith ena- 
bled her to endure all her trials with resignation, and 
to view the approach of death with cheerful serenity 
of soul. Toward the close of her life, the freshness 
of her complexion was injured by continual suffer- 
ing ; but though pale, she remained a handsome 


woman to the last. During her long illness, she re- 
ceived innumerable marks of respect and affection 
from friends and neighbors ; for she was beloved by- 
all who knew her. A short time before her death, 
she offered the following prayer for the dear ones she 
was so soon to leave; "O Lord, permit me to ask 
thy blessing for this family. Thy favor is better 
than all the world can give. For want of keeping 
close to thy counsel, my soul has often been pierced 
with sorrow. Pity my weakness. Look thou from 
heaven, and forgive. Enable me, I beseech thee, to 
renew my covenant, and so to live under the in- 
fluence of thy Holy Spirit, as to keep it. Preserve 
me in the hour of temptation. Thou alone knowest 
how prone I am to err on the right side and on the 
left. Bless the children ! O Lord, visit and re-visit 
their tender minds. Lead them in the paths of up- 
rightness, for thy name's sake. I ask not riches nor 
honor for them ; but an inheritance in thy ever- 
blessed truth." She left nine children, the youngest 
but six years old, to mourn the loss of a most tender 
careful and self-sacrificing mother. 

While her bereaved husband was still under the 
shadow of this great grief, he was called to part with 
his son Isaac, who in little more than a year, fol- 
lowed his mother, at the early age of fifteen. J le I 
was a sedate gentle lad, and had always been a very 
pleasant child to his parents. His father cherished 


his memory with great tenderness, and seldom spoke 
of him without expressing his conviction that if he 
had lived he would have become a highly acceptable 
minister in the Society of Friends ; a destiny which 
would have been more agreeable to his parental 
feelings, than having a son President of the United 

Soon after this melancholy event, Friend Hopper 
went to Maryland, to visit two sisters who resided 
there. He was accompanied in this journey by his 
wife's brother, David Tatum. At an inn where they 
stopped for refreshment, the following characteristic 
incident occurred : A colored girl brought in a pitcher 
of water. "Art thou a slave?" said Friend Hopper. 
When she answered in the affirmative, he started up 
and exclaimed, "It is against my principles to be 
waited upon by a slave." His more timid brother- 
in-law inquired, in a low tone of voice, whether he 
were aware that the mistress was within hearing. 
"To be sure I am," answered Isaac aloud. "What 
would be the use of saying it, if she were not within 
hearing ?" He then emptied the pitcher of water, and 
went out to the well to re-fill it for himself. Seeing 
the landlady stare at these proceedings, he explained 
to her that he* thought it wrong to avail himself of 
unpaid labor. In reply, she complained of the in- 
gratitude of slaves, and the hard condition of their 
masters. "It is very inconvenient to live so near a 


free state," said she. "I bad sixteen slaves; but 
ten of them have run away, and I expect the rest 
will soon go." 

"I hope they will," said Isaac. "I am sure I 
would run away, if I were a slave." 

At first, she was disposed to be offended ; but he 
reasoned the matter with her, in a quiet and friendly 
manner, and they parted on very civil terms. David 
Tatum often used to tell this anecdote, after they 
returned home; and he generally added, "I never 
again w T ill travel in a Southern state with brother 
Isaac ; for I am sure it would be at the risk of my 

Time soothes all afflictions ; and those who have 
dearly loved their first companion are sometimes 
more likely than others to form a second connexion ; 
for the simple reason that they cannot learn to do 
without the happiness to which they have been ac- 
customed. There was an intimate friend of the fami- 
ly, a member of the same religious Society, named 
Hannah Attmore. She was a gentle and quiet per- 
son, of an innocent and very pleasing countenance. 
Her father, a worthy and tender spirited man, had 
been an intimate friend of Isaac T. Hopper, and al- 
ways sympathized with his efforts for the oppressed. 
A strong attachment had likewise existed between 
her and Friend Hopper's wife ; and during her fre- 
quent visits to the house, it was her pleasure to vol- 


unteer assistance in the numerous household cares. 
The fact that his Sarah had great esteem for her, was 
doubtless a strong attraction to the widower. His 
suit was favorably received, and they were married 
on the fourth of the second month, (February) 1824. 
She was considerably younger than her bridegroom ; 
but vigorous health and elastic spirits had preserved 
his youthful appearance, while her sober dress and 
grave deportment, made her seem older than she 
really was. She became the mother of four children, 
two of whom died in early childhood. Little Tho- 
mas, who ended his brief career in three years and a 
half, was always remembered by his parents, and 
other members of the family, as a remarkably bright, 
precocious child, beautiful as an infant angel. 

It has been already staled that the schism in the 
Society of Friends introduced much controversy con- 
cerning the theological opinions of its founders. 
There was consequently an increased demand for 
their writings, and the branch called "Hicksites" 
felt the need of a bookstore. Friend Hopper's busi- 
ness had never been congenial to his character, 
and of late years it had become less profitable. 
A large number of his wealthiest customers were 
u Orthodox ;" and when he took part with Elias 
Hicks, they ceased to patronize him. He was per* 
fectly aware that such would be the result ; but 
whenever it was necessary to choose between his 


principles and prosperity, he invariably followed what 
he believed to be the truth. He was considered a 
suitable person to superintend the proposed book- 
store, and as the state of his financial affairs render- 
ed a change desirable, he concluded to accede to the 
proposition of his friends. For that purpose, he re- 
moved to the city of New-York in 1829. 

In the autumn of the'following year, some disput- 
ed claims, which his wife had on the estate of her 
maternal grandfather in Ireland, made it necessary 
for him to visit that country. Experience had pain- 
fully convinced him that theological controversy 
sometimes leads to personal animosity ; and that few 
people were so open and direct in their mode of ex- 
pressing hostility, as he himself was. Therefore, 
before going abroad, he t^bk the precaution to ask 
letters from citizens of various classes and sects in 
Philadelphia ; and he found no difficulty in obtaining 
them from the most respectable and distinguished. 
Matthew Carey, the well known philanthropist 
wrote as follows: "As you are about to visit my 
native country, and have applied to me for a testi- 
monial concerning your character, I cheerfully com- 
ply with your request. I have been well acquainted 
with you for about thirty-five years, and I can testify 
that, during the whole of that time, you have been a 
perfect pest to our Southern neighbors. A Southern 
gentleman could scarcely visit this city, without 


having his slave taken from him by your instrumen- 
tality ; so that they dread you, as they do the devil." 
After enjoying a mutual laugh over this epistle, an- 
other was written for the public, certifying that he 
had known Isaac T. Hopper for many years as "a 
useful and respectable citizen of the fairest charac- 

When Friend Hopper arrived in Ireland, he found 
many of the Quakers prejudiced against him, and 
many untrue stories in circulation, as he had expect- 
ed. Sometimes, when he visited public places, he 
would overhear people saying to each other, in a low 
voice, "That's Isaac T. Hopper, who has given 
Friends so much trouble in America." A private 
letter from an " Orthodox" Quaker in Philadelphia 
was copied and circulated in all directions, greatly to 
his disadvantage. It represented him as a man of 
sanctified appearance, but wholly unworthy of cre- 
dit ; that business of a pecuniary nature was a mere 
pretence to cover artful designs ; his real object be-i 
ing to spread heretical doctrines in Ireland, and thus 
sow dissension among Friends. In his journal of 
this visit to a foreign land, Friend Hopper says : "It 
is astonishing what strange ideas some of them have 
concerning me. They have been informed that I 
can find stolen goods, and am often applied to on 
such occasions. I think it would be no hard matter 

to make them believe me a wizard." This was pro- 


bably a serious version of his pleasantry with the 
Dutchman about finding his goods by calculating the 
age of the moon. 

Many of the Irish Friends had formed from hear- 
say the most extravagant misconceptions concerning 
the Friends called "Hicksites." They supposed 
them to be outright infidels, and that the grossest 
immoralities were tolerated among them ; that they 
pointed loaded pistols at the "Orthodox" brethren, 
and drove them out of their own meeting-houses by 
main force. One of them expressed great surprise 
when Friend Hopper informed him that they were in 
the constant habit of reading the Scriptures in their 
families, and maintained among themselves the same 
discipline that had always been used in the Society. 
Sometimes when he attended Quaker meetings du- 
ring the early portion of his visit, the ministers 
preached at him, by cautioning young people to be- 
ware of the adversary, who was now going about 
like a cunning serpent, in which form he was far 
more dangerous, than when he assumed the appear- 
ance of a roaring lion. But after a while, this ten- 
dency was rebuked by other preachers, who inculcat- 
ed forbearance in judging others ; reminding their 
hearers that the spirit of the Gospel always breathed 
peace and good will toward men. As for Isaac him- 
self, he behaved with characteristic openness. When 
a stranger, in Quaker costume, introduced himself, 


and invited him to go home and dine with him, he 
replied, " I am represented by some people as a very 
bad man ; and I do not wish to impose myself upon 
the hospitality of strangers, without letting them 
know who I am." 

The stranger assured him that he knew very well 
who he was, and cared not a straw what opinions 
they accused him of; that he was going to have a 
company of Friends at dinner, who wished to con- 
verse with him. He went accordingly, and was re- 
ceived with true Irish hospitality and kindness. 

Upon another occasion, a Quaker lady, who did 
not know he was a"Hicksite," observed to him, "I 
suppose the Society of Friends are very much thin- 
ned in America, since so many have gone off from 
them." He replied, "It is always best to be can- 
did. I belong to the party called Hicksites, deists, 
and schismatics ; and I suppose they are the ones to 
whom thou hast alluded as having gone off from the 
Society. I should like to talk with thee concerning 
the separation in America ; for we have been greatly 
misrepresented. But I came to this country solely 
on business, and I have no wish to say or do any- 
thing that can unsettle the mind, or wound the feel- 
ings of any Friend. She seemed very much surpris- 
ed, and for a minute or two covered her face with 
her hands. But when the company broke up, some 
hours after, she followed him into the entry, and cor- 


dially invited him t her. " What ! canst thou 

»f ah Umed. 

d with a a one as thou 


In fact, wherever he had a chance to make him- 
self known, prejudices melted away under the influ- 
;ank and kindly manner- S me people 
of oth- -11 of his own, took an interest in 

him for the very reasons that caused di? ind 

ike in other- because they had heard of 

him as the champion of perfect liberty of cons 
who c edit unnece? bind men by any 

ed whatsoever. Among these, he mentions in his 
journal, Professor Stokes of Dublin, who relinqu: 
ed a salary of two thousand eight hundred pounds a 

r, because he could not conscientioi :be 

to the doctrine of the Trinity. It was proposed to 
dismiss him from the coiles - ner ; but he de- 

manded a hearing before the tru- 

jivilege could not be denied, without infn 
ing the laws of the institution ; and deeming that 
such a dis d might prove injurious, they con- 

cluded to ; n a salary oi eight hundred 

pounds. Friend Hopper describes him th : He 

is an :. . :nt and liberal-minded man, and has a 
faculty of expos; . _ errors and absurdities of the 

anasian Creed to much purpose. He was of a 
good spiri* I was much gratified with his com- 


pany. He insisted upon accompanying me home in 
the evening, and though I remonstrated against it, 
on account of his advanced age, he attended me to 
the door of my lodgings." 

During this visit to Ireland, Friend Hopper was 
treated with great hospitality and respect by many 
who were wealthy, and many who were not weal- 
thy ; by members of the Society of Friends, and of 
various other religious sects. He formed a high 
estimate of the Irish character, and to the day of his 
death, always spoke with warm affection of the 
friends he found there. In his journal, he often 
alludes with pleasure to the children he met with, in 
families where he visited ; for he was always ex- 
tremely partial to the young. Speaking of a visit to 
a gentleman in the environs of Dublin, by the name 
of Wilson, he says: "I rose early in the morning, 
and the eldest daughter, about ten or eleven years 
old, very politely invited me to walk with her. We 
rambled about in the pastures, and through beautiful 
groves of oak, beech and holly. The little creature 
tried her very best to amuse me. She told me about 
the birds and the hares, and other inhabitants of the 
woods. She inquired whether I did not want very 
much to see my wife and children ; and exclaimed, 
"How I should like to see you meet them ! It would 
give you so much pleasure ! " He speaks of a little 
girl in another family, who seemed very much at- 


tracted toward him, and finally whispered to her 
father, "I want to go and speak to that Friend/' She 
was introduced accordingly, and they had much 
pleasant chat together. 

In one of the families where he visited, they told 
him an instructive story concerning a Quaker who 
resided in Dublin, by the name of Joseph Torrey. 
One day when he was passing through the streets, 
he saw a man leading a horse, which was evidently 
much diseased. His compassionate heart was pained 
by the sight, and he asked the man where he was 
going. He replied, "The horse has the staggers, 
and I am going to sell him to the carrion-butchers." 

"Wilt thou sell him to me for a crown !" inquired 
Joseph. The man readily assented, and the poor 
animal was led to the stable of his new friend, where 
he was most kindly tended. Suitable remedies and 
careful treatment soon restored him to health and 
beauty. One day, when Friend Torrey was riding 
him in Phoenix Park, a gentleman looked very ear- 
nestly at the horse, and at last inquired w T hether his 
owner would be willing to sell him. "Perhaps I 
would," replied Joseph, "if I could get a very good 
master for him." 

" He so strongly resembles a favorite horse I once 
had, that I should think he was the same, if I didn't 
know he was dead," rejoined the stranger. 

" Did he die in thy stable ?" inquired Joseph. 


The gentleman replied, "No. He had the stag- 
gers very badly, and I sent him to the carrion-butch- 

"I should be sorry to sell an animal to any man, 
who would send him to the carrion-butchers because 
he was diseased," answered Joseph. " If thou wert 
ill, how wouldst thou like to have thy throat cut, in- 
stead of being kindly nursed ?" 

With some surprise, the gentleman inquired whe- 
ther he intended to compare him to a horse. "No," 
replied Joseph; "but animals have feelings, as well 
as human beings ; and when they are afflicted with 
disease, they ought to be carefully attended. If I 
consent to sell thee this horse, I shall exact a pro- 
mise that thou wilt have him kindly nursed when he 
is sick, and not send him to have his throat cut." 

The gentleman readily promised all that was re- 
quired, and said he should consider himself very for- 
tunate to obtain a horse that so much resembled his 
old favorite. When he called the next day, to com- 
plete the bargain, he inquired whether forty guineas 
would be a satisfactory price. The conscientious 
Quaker answered, "I have good reason to believe 
the horse was once thine ; and I am willing to re- 
store him to thee on the conditions I have mentioned. 
I have saved him from the carrion-butchers, but I 
will charge thee merely what I have expended for 
his food and medicine. Let it be a lesson to thee to 


treat animals kindly, when thoy are diseased. Never 
in *v\u\ to the butchers a faithful servant, that 
cannot plead for himself, and may, with proper at- 
tention, again become useful to thee." 

How little Friend Hopper was inclined to minister 
to aristocratic prejudices, may be inferred from the 
following anecdote. One day, while lie was visiting 
a wealthy family in Dublin, a note was handed to 
him, inviting him to dine the next day. When he 
read it aloud, his host remarked, "Those people are 
very respectable, but not of the first circles. They 
belong to our church, but not exactly to our set. 
Their father was a mechanic." 

"Well I am a mechanic myself," said Isaac. 
"Perhaps if thou hadst known that fact, thou 
wouldst not have invited me V* 

"Is it possible," exclaimed his host, " that a man 
of your information and appearance can be a mecha- 
nic !" 

"I followed the business of a tailor for many 
years," rejoined his guest. "Look at my hands! 
Dost thou not see marks of the shears ? Some of 
the mayors of Philadelphia have been tailors. When 
I lived there, I often walked the streets with the 
Chief Justice. Jl never occurred to me that it was 
any honor, and I don't think it did to him." 

Upon one occasion, Friend I Topper went into the 
Court of Chancery in Dublin, and kept his hat on, 


according to Quaker custom. While he was listen- 
ing to the pleading, he noticed that a person who sat 
near the Chancellor fixed his eyes upon him with a 
vi tv item expression. This attracted the attention 
of lawyers and spectators, who also began to look at 
him. Presently an officer tapped him on the shoul- 
der, and said, " Your hat, sir !" 

"What's the matter with my hat V he inquired. 

"Take it off?" rejoined the officer. "You are in 
his Majesty Court of Chancery ." 

" That is an honor I reserve for his Majesty's Mas- 
ter,'' he replied. "Perhaps it is my shoes thou 
meanest ?" 

The officer seemed embarrassed, but said no 
more ; and when the Friend had stayed as long as he 
felt inclined, he quietly withdrew. 

One day, when he was walking with a lawyer in 
Dublin, they passed the Lord Lieutenant's castle. 
He expressed a wish to see the Council Chamber, 
but was informed that it was not open to strangers. 
"I have a mind to go and try," said he to his com- 
panion. "Wilt thou go with me ?" 

"Xo indeed," he replied; "and I would advise 
you not to go." 

He marched in, however, with his broad beaver 
on, and found the Lord Lieutenant surrounded by a 
number of gentleman. "I am an American," said 
lie. "I have heard a great deal about the Lord 


Lieutenant's castle, and if it will give no offence, I 
should like very much to see it." 

His lordship seemed surprised by this unceremoni- 
ous introduction, but he smiled, and said to a ser- 
vant, " Show this American whatever he wishes to 

He was conducted into, various apartments, where 
he saw pictures, statues, ancient armor, antique 
coins, and many other curious articles. At parting, 
the master of the mansion was extremely polite, and 
gave him much interesting information on a variety 
of topics. When he rejoined his companion, who 
had agreed to wait for him at some appointed place, 
he was met with the inquiry, "Well, what luck?" 

" O, the best luck in the world," he replied, " I 
was treated with great politeness." 

"Well certainly, Mr. Hopper, you are an extraor- 
dinary man," responded the lawyer. "I wouldn't 
have ventured to try such an experiment." 

At the expiration of four months, having complet- 
ed the business which rendered his presence in Ire- 
land necessary, he made a short visit to England, on 
his way home. There also his hat was objected to 
on several occasions. While in Bristol, he asked 
permission to look at the interior o'f the Cathedral. 
He had been walking about some little time, when a 
rough-looking man said to him, in a very surly tone, 
"Take £>fT your hat, sir !" 


He replied very courteously, "I have asked per- 
mission to enter here to gratify my curiosity as a 
stranger. I hope it is no offence." 

"Take off your hat !" rejoined the rude man. "If 
you don't, I'll take it off for you." 

Friend Hopper leaned on his cane, looked him full 
in the face, and answered very coolly, "If thou dost, 
I hope thou wilt send it to my lodgings ; for I shall 
have need of it this afternoon. I lodge at No. 35, 
Lower Crescent, Clifton." The place designated 
was ahout a mile from the Cathedral. The man 
stared at him, as if puzzled to decide whether he 
were talking to an insane person, or not. When the 
imperturbable Quaker had seen all he cared to see, he 
deliberately walked away. 

At Westminster Abbey he paid the customary fee 
of two shillings sixpence for admission. The door- 
keeper followed him, saying, "You must uncover 
yourself, sir." 

" Uncover myself !" exclaimed the Friend, with 
an affectation of ignorant simplicity. "What dost 
thou mean ? Must I take off my coat ?" 

"Your coat !" responded the man, smiling. "No 
indeed. I mean your hat." 

" And what should I take off my hat for ?" he in- 

" Because you are in a church, sir," answered the 


"I see no church here," rejoined the Quaker. 
"Perhaps thou meanest the house where the church 
assembles. I suppose thou art aware that it is the 
'people, not the building, that constitutes a church ?" 

The idea seemed new to the man, but he merely 
repeated, "You must take off your hat, sir." 

But the Friend again inquired, "What for? On 
account of these images ? Thou knowest Scripture 
commands us not to w T orship graven images." 

The man persisted in saying that no person could 
be permitted to pass through the church without un- 
covering his head. "Well friend," rejoined Isaac, 
" I have some conscientious scruples on that subject ; 
so give me back my money, and I will go out." 

The reverential habits of the door-keeper were 
not quite strong enough to compel him to that sacri- 
fice ; and he walked away, without saying anything 
more on the subject. 

When Friend Hopper visited the House of Lords, 
he asked the sergeant-at-arms if he might sit upon 
the throne. He replied, "No, sir. No one but his 
majesty sits there." 

"Wherein does his majesty differ from other 
men?" inquired he. "If his head were cut off, 
wouldn't he die ?" 

"Certainly he would," replied the officer. 

"Sow r ould an American," rejoined Friend Hop- 
per. As he spoke, he stepped up to the gilded rail- 


ing that surrounded the throne, and tried to open 
the gate. The officer told him it was locked. 
"Well won't the same key that locked it unlock it ?" 
inquired he. "Is this the key hanging here?" 

Being informed that it was, he took it down and 
unlocked the gate. He removed the satin covering 
from the throne, carefully dusted the railing with his 
handkerchief, before he hung the satin over it, and 
then seated himself in the royal chair. "Well," 
said he, "do I look anything like his majesty?" 

The man seemed embarrassed, but smiled as he 
answered, "Why, sir, you certainly fill the throne 
very respectably." 

There were several noblemen in the room, who 
seemed to be extremely amused by these unusual 

At a place called Jordans, about twenty-tw r o miles 
from London, he visited the grave of William Penn. 

In his journal, he says : "The ground is surround- 
ed by a neat hedge, and is kept in good order. I 
picked some grass and moss from the graves of Wil- 
liam Penn, Thomas Ellwood, and Isaac Pennington ; 
and some ivy and holly from the hedge ; which I in- 
tend to take with me to America, as a memorial of 
my visit. I entered the meeting-house, and sat on 
the benches which had been occupied by George 
Fox, William Penn, and George Whitehead, in years 
long since passed away. It brought those old 


Friends so distinctly before the view of my mind, 
that my heart was ready to exclaim, ' Surely this is 
no other than the house of God, and this is the gate 
of heaven.' I cannot describe my feelings. The 
manly and majestic features of George Fox, and the 
mournful yet benevolent countenance of Isaac Pen- 
nington, seemed to rise before me. But this is hu- 
man weakness. Those men bore the burthen and 
heat of their own day ; they faithfully used the 
talents committed to their trust ; and I doubt not they 
are now reaping the reward given to faithful ser- 
vants. It is permitted us to love their memories, 
but not to idolize them. They could deliver neither 
son or daughter by their righteousness ; but only 
their own souls." 

" In the great city of London everything tended 
to satisfy me that the state of our religious Society 
is generally very low. A light was once kindled 
there, that illuminated distant lands. As I walked 
the streets, I remembered the labors, the sufferings, 
and the final triumph of those illustrious sons of the 
morning, George Fox, George Whitehead, William 
Penn, and a host of others ; men who loved not their 
lives in comparison with the holy cause of truth and 
righteousness, in which they were called to labor. 
These worthies have been succeeded by a genera- 
tion, who seem disposed to garnish the sepulchres of 
their fathers, and live upon the fruit of their labors, 


without submitting to the power of that Cross, which 
made them what they were. There appears to me 
to be much formality and dryness among them; 
though there are a few who mourn, almost without 
hope, over the desolation that has been made by the 
world, the flesh, and the devil." 

There were many poor emigrants on board the 
merchant ship, in which Friend Hopper returned 
home. He soon established friendly communication 
with them, and entered with sympathy into all their 
troubles. He made frequent visits to the steerage 
during the long voyage, and always had something 
comforting and cheering to say to the poor souls. 
There was a clergyman on board, who also wished 
to benefit them, but he approached them in an offi- 
cial way, to which they did not so readily respond. 
One day, when he invited the emigrants to join him 
in prayer, an old Irish woman replied, "I'd rather 
play a game o'cards, than hear you prache and 
pray." She pointed to Friend Hopper, and added, 
" He comes and stays among us, and always spakes 
a word o' comfort, and does us some good. But you 
come and prache and pray, and then you are gone. 
One look from that Quaker gintleman is worth all 
the praching and praying that be in you." 

The vessel encountered a dense fog, and ran on a 
sand bank as they approached the Jersey shore. A 
tremendous sea was rolling, and dashed against the 


ship with such force, that she seemed every moment 
in danger of being shattered into fragments. If 
there had been a violent gale of wind, all must have 
been inevitably lost. The passengers were generally 
in a state of extreme terror. Screams and groans 
were heard in every direction. But Friend .Hop- 
per's mind was preserved in a state of great equa- 
nimity. He entreated the people to be quiet, and try 
to keep possession of their faculties, that they might 
be ready to do whatever was best, in case of emer- 
gency. Seeing him so calm, they gathered closely 
round him, as if they thought he had some power to 
save them. There was a naval officer on board, 
whose frenzied state of feeling vented itself in blas- 
phemous language. Friend Hopper, who was al- 
ways disturbed by irreverent use of the name of 
Deity, was peculiarly shocked by it under these 
solemn circumstances. He walked up to the officer, 
put his hand on his shoulder, and looking him in the 
face, said, "From what I have heard of thy military 
exploits, I supposed thou wert a brave man; but 
here thou art pouring forth blasphemies, to keep up 
the appearance of courage, while thy pale face and 
quivering lips show that thou art in mortal fear. I 
am ashamed of thee. If thou hast no reverence for 
Deity thyself, thou shouldst show some regard for 
the feelings of those who have." The officer ceased 
swearing, and treated his adviser with marked res- 


pect. A friendship was formed between them, which 
continued as long as the captain lived. 

The clergyman on board afterward said to Friend 
Hopper, " If any other person had talked to him in 
that manner, he would have knocked him down." 

In about two hours, the vessel floated off the sand- 
bar and went safely into the harbor of New- York. 
At the custom-house, the clergyman was in some 
perplexity about a large quantity of books he had 
brought with him, on which it was proposed to charge 
high duties. "Perhaps I can get them through for 
thee," said Friend Hopper. "I will try." He went 
up to the officer, and said, " Isn't it a rule of the 
custom-house not to charge a man for the tools of 
his trade?" He replied that it was. "Then thou 
art bound to let this priest's books pass free," rejoin- 
ed the Friend. "Preaching is the trade he gets his 
living by ; and these books are the tools he must 
use." The clergyman being aware of Quaker views 
with regard to a paid ministry, seemed doubtful 
whether to be pleased or not, with such a mode of 
helping him out of difficulty. However, he took the 
joke as good naturedly as it was offered, and the 
books passed free, on the assurance that they were 
all for his own library. 

Friend Hopper's bookstore in New- York was a 

place of great resort for members of his own sect. 

His animated style of conversation, his thousand 


and one anecdotes of runaway slaves, Lis descrip- 
tions of keen encounters with the "Orthodox," in the 
process of separation, attracted many listeners. His 
intelligence and well-known conscientiousness com- 
manded respect, and he was held in high estimation 
by his own branch of the Society, though the oppo- 
site party naturally entertained a less favorable opin- 
ion of the "Hicksite" champion. Such a character 
as he was must necessarily always be a man oi 
mark, with warm friends and bitter enemies. 

His resemblance to Bonaparte attracted attention 
in New-York, as it had done in Philadelphia. Not 
long after he removed to that city, there was a dra- 
matic representation at the Park Theatre, in which 
Placide personated the French Emperor. While 
this play was attracting public attention, the mana- 
ger happened to meet Friend Hopper in the street. 
As soon as he saw him, he exclaimed, "Here is Na- 
poleon himself come back again !" He remarked to 
some of his acquaintance that he would gladly give 
that Quaker gentleman one hundred dollars a night, 
if he would consent to appear on the stage in the 
costume of Bonaparte. 

About this period northern hostility to slavery 
took a new form, more bold and uncompromising 
than the old Abolition Societies. It demanded the 
immediate and unconditional emancipation of every 
slave, in a voice which has not yet been silenced, 


and never will be, while the oppressive system con- 
tinues to disgrace our country. Of course, Friend 
Hopper could not otherwise than sympathize with 
any movement for the abolition of slavery, based on 
pacific principles. Pictures and pamphlets, published 
by the Anti-Slavery Society were offered for sale in 
his book-store. During the popular excitement on this 
subject, in 1834, he was told that his store was about 
to be attacked by an infuriated rabble, and he had 
better remove all such publications from the win- 
dow. "Dost thou think I am such a coward as to 
forsake my principles, or conceal them, at the bid- 
ding of a mob?" said he. Presently, another mes- 
senger came to announce that the mob were already 
in progress, at the distance of a few streets. He 
was earnestly advised at least to put up the shut- 
ters, that their attention might not be attracted by 
the pictures. "I shall do no such thing," he replied. 
The excited throng soon came pouring down the 
street, with loud and discordant yells. Friend Hop- 
per walked out and stood on the steps. The mob 
stopped in front of his store. He looked calmly and 
firmly at them, and they looked irresolutely at him, 
like a wild animal spell-bound by the fixed gaze of a 
human eye. After a brief pause, they renewed their 
yells, and some of their leaders called out, " Go on, 
to Rose-street !" They obeyed these orders, and in 
the absence of Lewis Tappan, a well-known aboli- 


tionist, they burst open his house, and destroyed his 

In 18U5, Judge Chinn, of Mississippi, visited New- 
York, and brought with him a slave, said to have 
cost the large sum of fifteen hundred dollars. A few 
days after their arrival in the city, the slave eloped, 
and a reward of five hundred dollars was offered for 
his apprehension. Friend Hopper knew nothing 
about him ; but some mischievous person wrote a 
note to Judge Chinn, stating that the fugitive was 
concealed at his store, in Pearl-street. A warrant 
was procured and put into the hands of a constable 
frequently employed in that base business. At that 
season of the year, many Southerners were in the 
city to purchase goods. A number of them accom- 
panied the judge to Pearl-street, and distributed 
themselves at short distances, in order to arrest the 
slave, in case he attempted to escape. They pre- 
ferred to search the store in the absence of Friend 
Hopper, and watched nearly an hour for a favorable 
opportunity. Meanwhile, he was entirely uncon- 
scious of their proceedings ; and having occasion to 
call at a house a few doors below, he left the store 
for a short time in charge of one of his sons. As 
soon as he was gone, four or five men rushed in. 
Not finding the object of their pursuit, they jumped 
out of a back window, and began to search some 
buildings in the rear. When people complained of 


such unceremonious intrusion upon their premises, 
the constable excused himself by saying they were 
trying to apprehend a felon. Friend Hopper's son 
called out that it was a slave, not a felon, they were 
in search of ; for he heard them say so. This made 
the constable very angry ; for, like most slave-catch- 
ers, he was eager for the reward, but rather ashamed 
of the services by which he sought to obtain it. He 
swore roundly, and one of his party gave the young 
man a blow on his face. 

Friend Hopper, being sent for, returned immedi- 
ately ; and for some time after, he observed a re- 
spectable looking person occasionally peeping into 
the store, and skulking out of sight as soon as he 
thought himself observed. At last, he went to the 
door, and said, "My friend, if thou hast business 
with me, come in and let me know what it is ; but 
don't be prying about my premises in that way," 
He walked off, and joined a group of people, who 
seemed to be much excited. Friend Hopper fol- 
lowed, and found they were the men who had been 
recently searching his store. He said to their lead- 
er, "Art thou the impertinent fellow who has been 
intruding upon my premises, in my absence?" The 
constable replied that he had a warrant, and was 
determined to execute it. Though a stranger to his 
countenance, Friend Hopper was well aware that he 
was noted for hunting slaves, and being unable to 


disguise his abhorrence ot the odious business, he 
said, "Judas betrayed his master for thirty pieces of 
silver; and for a like sum, I suppose thou wouldst 
seize thy brother by the throat, and send him into 
interminable bondage. If thy conscience were as 
susceptible of conviction as his was, thou wouldst do 
as he did ; and thus rid the community of an intolera- 
ble nuisance." 

One of the Southerners repeated the word "Bro- 
ther ! " in a very sneering tone. 

"Yes," rejoined Friend. Hopper, "I said brother." 

He returned to his store, but was soon summoned 
into the street again, by a complaint that the con- 
stable and his troop of slaveholders were very rough- 
ly handling a colored man, saying he had no business 
to keep in their vicinity. When Friend Hopper in- 
terfered, to prevent further abuse, several of the 
Southerners pointed bowie-knives and. pistols at him. 
He told the constable it was his duty, as a police-of- 
ficer, to arrest those men for carrying deadly wea- 
pons and making such a turmoil in the street ; and he 
threatened to complain of him if he did not do it. 
He complied very reluctantly, and of course the cul- 
prits escaped before they reached the police-office. 

A few days after, as young Mr. Hopper Avas walk- 
ing up Chatham-street, on his way home in the eve- 
ning, some unknown person came behind him, knock- 
ed him down, and beat him in a most savage man- 


ner, so that he was unable to leave his room for 
many days. No doubt was entertained that this 
brutal attack was by one of the company who wertf 
on the search for Judge Chinn's slave. 

It was afterward rumored that the fugitive had ar- 
riv« ly in Canada. I never heard that he re- 

turned to the happy condition of slavery ; though his 
master predicted that he would do so, and said he 
never would have been so foolish as to leave it, if it 
had not been for the false representations of aboli- 

In 1836, the hatred which Southerners bore to 
Friend Hopper's name was manifested in a cruel and 
altogether unprovoked outrage on his son, which 
caused the young man a great deal of suffering, and 
well nigh cost him his life. John Hopper, Esq., now 
a lawyer in the city of New- York, had occasion to 
go to the South on business. He remained in 
Charleston about two months, during which time he 
was treated with courtesy in his business relations, 
and received many kind attentions in the intercourse 
of social life. One little incident that occurred dur- 
ing his visit illustrates the tenacious attachment of 
Friends to their own mode of worship. When he 
left home, his father had exhorted him to attend 
Friends' meeting while he was in Charleston. He 
told him that a meeting had been established there 
many years ago, but he supposed there were not 


half a dozen members remaining, and probably they 
had no ministry ; for the original settlers had died, 
or left Carolina on account of their testimony against 
slavery. But as Quakers believe that silent worship 
is often more blessed to the soul, than the most 
eloquent preaching, he had a strong desire that his 
son should attend the meeting constantly, even if he 
found but two or three to unite with him. The 
young man promised that he would do so. Ac- 
cordingly, when he arrived in Charleston, he in- 
quired for the meeting-house, and was informed that 
it was well nigh deserted. On the first day of the 
week, he went to the place designated, and found a 
venerable, kind-looking Friend seated under the 
preachers' gallery. In obedience to a signal from 
him, he took a seat by his side, and they remained 
there in silence nearly two hours. Then the old man 
turned and shook hands with him, as an indication 
that the meeting was concluded, according to the 
custom of the Society of Friends. When he found 
that he was talking to the son of Isaac T. Hopper, 
and that he had promised to attend meeting there, 
during his stay in Charleston, he was so much af- 
fected, that his eyes filled with tears. "Oh, 1 shall 
be glad of thy company," said he ; "for most of the 
time, this winter, I am here all alone. My old 
friends and companions have all died, or moved 
awav. I come hero twice on "First davs, and once 


on Fifth day, and sit all, all alone, till I feel it right 
to leave the house and go home." 

This lonely old worshipper once had an intimate 
friend, who for a long time was his only companion 
in the silent meeting. At the close, they shook 
hands and walked off together, enjoying a kindly 
chat on their way home. Unfortunately, some diffi- 
culty afterward occurred between them, which com 
pletely estranged them from each other. Both still 
clung to their old place of worship. They took 
their, accustomed seats, and remained silent for a 
couple of hours ; but they parted without shaking 
hands, or speaking a single word. This alienation 
almost broke the old man's heart. After awhile, he 
lost even this shadow of companionship, and there 
n mained only "the voice within," and echoes of 
memory from the empty benches. 

While Mr. Hopper remained in Charleston, he 
went to the Quaker meeting-house every Sunday, 
and rarely found any one there except the perse- 
vering old Friend, who often invited him to go home 
with him. He seemed to take great satisfaction in 
talking with him about his father, and listening to 
what he had heard him say concerning the Society 
of Friends. When the farewell hour came, he was 
much affected ; for he felt it not likely they would 
ever meet again ; and the conversation of the young 
stranger had formed a link between him and the 
14* . 


Quakerism he loved so well. The old man con- 
tinued to sit alone under the preacher's gallery till 
the house took fire and was burned to the ground. 
He died soon after that event, at a very advanced 

Another incident, which occurred during Mr. 
Hopper's stay in Charleston, seemed exceedingly 
trivial at the time, but came very near producing fa- 
tal consequences. One day, when a clergyman 
whom he visited was showing him his library, he 
mentioned that his father had quite an antiquarian 
taste for old documents connected with the Society 
of Friends. At parting, the clergyman gave him 
several pamphlets for his father, and among them 
happened to be a. tract published by Friends in Phila- 
delphia, describing the colony at Sierra Leone, and 
giving an account of the slave trade on the coast of 
Africa. He put the pamphlets in his trunk, and 
started for Savannah, where he arrived on the twen- 
ty-eighth of January. At the City Hotel, he unfor- 
tunately encountered a marshal of the city of New- 
York, who was much employed in catching runaway 
slaves, and of course sympathized with slaveholders. 
He pointed the young stranger out, as a son of Isaac 
T. Hopper, the notorious abolitionist. This infor- 
mation kindled a flame immediately, and they began 
to discuss plans of vengeance. The traveller, not 
dreaming of danger, retired to his room soon after 


supper. In a few minutes, his door was forced open 
by a gang of intoxicated men, escorted by the New- 
York marshal. They assailed him with a volley of 
blasphemous language, struck him, kicked him, and 
spit in his face. They broke open and rifled his 
trunk, and searched his pockets for abolition docu- 
ments. When they found the harmless little Quaker 
tract about the colony at Sierra Leone, they scream- 
ed with exultation. They shouted, "Here is what 
we wanted ! Here is proof of abolitionism !" Some 
of them rushed out and told the mob, who crowded 
the bar-room and entries, that they had found a trunk 
full of abolition tracts. Others seized Mr. Hopper 
violently, telling him to say his last prayers, and go 
with them. The proprietor of the City Hotel was 
r< ry naturally alarmed for the safety of the building. 
He was in a great passion, and conjured them to 
carry their victim down forthwith ; saying he could 
do nothing with the mob below, who were getting 
very impatient waiting for him. Turning to Mr. 
Hopper, he said, "Young man, you are in a very 
unfortunate situation. You ought never to have left 
your home. But it is your own doing; and you de- 
serve your fate." When appealed to for protection, 
he exclaimed, " Good God ! you must not appeal to 
me. This is a damned delicate business. I shall 
not be able to protect my own property. But T will 
go for the mayor." 


One of the bar-keeper's confidential friends sent 
him a slip of paper, on which was written, "His 
only mode of escape is by the window ;" and the 
bar-keeper, who had previously shown himself de- 
cidedly unfriendly, urged him again and again to 
profit by this advice. He occupied the third story, 
and the street below his window was thronged with 
an infuriated mob, thirsting and clamoring for his 
blood. In view of these facts, it seems not very un- 
charitable to suppose that the advice was given to 
make sure of his death, apparently by his own act, 
and thus save the city of Savannah from the dis- 
grace of the deed. Of the two terrible alternatives, 
he preferred going down-stairs into the midst of the 
angry mob, who were getting more and more mad- 
dened by liquor, having taken forcible possession of 
the bar. He considered his fate inevitable, and had 
made up his mind to die. But at the foot of the 
stairs, he was met by the mayor and several alder- 
men, whose timely arrival saved his life. After ask- 
ing some questions, and receiving the assurance that 
he came to Savannah solely on commercial business, 
the magistrates accompanied Mr. Hopper to his 
room, and briefly examined his books and papers. 
The mayor then went down and addressed the mob, 
assuring them that he should be kept in custody dur- 
ing the night ; that strict investigation should be 
made, and if there was the slightest evidence of his 


being an abolitionist, he should not be suffered to go 
at large. The mayor and a large body of civil offi- 
cers accompanied the prisoner to the guard-house, 
and a number of citizens volunteered their services, 
to strengthen the escort ; but all their efforts scarce- 
ly sufficed to keep him from the grasp of the infuriat- 
ed multitude. He was placed in a noisome cell, to 
await his trial, and the customary guard was increas- 
ed for his protection. Portions of the mob continued 
howling round the prison all night, and the mayor 
was sent for several times to prevent their bursting 
in. A gallows was erected, with a barrel of feathers 
and a tub of tar in readiness under it, that they might 
amuse themselves with their victim before they mur- 
dered him. 

Next morning, at five o'clock, the prisoner was 
brought before the mayor for further examination. 
Many of the mob followed him to the door of the 
office to await the issue. The evidence was satis- 
factory that he belonged to no anti-slavery society, 
and that his business in Savannah had no connection 
whatever with that subject. As for the pamphlet 
about Sierra Leone, the mayor said he considered 
that evidence in his favor; because it was written in 
support of colonization. Before the examination 
closed, there came a driving rain, which dispersed 
the mob lying in wait round the building. Aided by 
this lucky storm their destined victim passed out 


without being observed. At parting, the mayor 
said to him, "Young man, you may consider it a 
miracle that you have escaped with your life." 

He took refuge on board the ship Angelique, 
bound for New- York, and was received with much 
kindness and sympathy by Captain Nichols, the 
commander. There was likewise a sailor on board, 
who happened to be one of the many that owed a 
debt of gratitude to Friend Hopper ; and he swore 
he would shoot anybody that attempted to harm his 
son. In a short time, a messenger came from the 
mayor to announce that the populace had discovered 
where Mr. Hopper was secreted, and would probably 
attack the vessel. In this emergency, the captain 
behaved nobly toward his hunted fellow-citizen. He 
requested him to lie down flat in the bottom of a 
boat, which he himself entered and conducted to a 
brig bound for Providence. The captain was a 
New-England man, but having been long engaged in 
Southern trade, his principles on the subject of 
slavery were adapted to his interest. He gave the 
persecuted young traveller a most ungracious recep- 
tion, and said if he thought he was an abolitionist he 
would send him directly back to Savannah. How- 
ever, the representations of Captain Nichols induced 
him to consent that he should be put on board. 
They had a tedious passage of thirty-five days, 
during which there was a long and violent storm, 

LIFE OF ISAAC T. HOPfft*. 327 

that seemed likely to wreck the vessel. The mob 
had robbed Mr. Hopper of his money and clothing. 
He had no comfortable garments to shield him fro^ 
the severe cold, and his hands and feet were frozen. 
At last, he arrived at Providence, and went on board 
the steamer Benjamin Franklin, bound for New- 
York. There he had the good fortune to meet with 
a colored waiter, whose father had been redeemed 
from slavery by Friend Hopper's exertions. He was 
assiduously devoted to the son of his benefactor, and 
did everything in his power to alleviate his distressed 

When the traveller arrived at his home, he was so 
haggard and worn down with danger and fatigue, 
that his family scarcely recognized him. His father 
was much excited and deeply affected, when he 
heard what perils he had gone through merely on 
account of his name. He soon after addressed the 
following letter to the mayor of Savannah : 

New- York, 4th month, 18th, 1836. 

My object in addressing thee is to express 
my heartfelt gratitude for thy exertions in saving 
the life of my son, which I have cause to believe 
was in imminent peril, from the violence of unreason- 
able men, while in your city a few weeks ago. I am 
informed that very soon after his arrival in Savan- 


nah, the fact became known to a marshal of this 
city, who was then there, and who, by his misre- 
presentations, excited the rabble to a determination to 
perpetrate the most inhuman outrage upon him, and 
in all probability to take his life ; and that prepara- 
tions were made, which, if carried into effect, would 
doubtless have produced that result. 

"Tar and feathers, as a mode of punishment, I am 
inclined to think is rather of modern invention ; and 
I am doubtful whether they will be more efficient 
than whipping, cutting off ears, the rack, the halter, 
and the stake. Superstition and intolerance have 
long ago called in all these to their aid, in suppress- 
ing reformation in religion ; but they were unable to 
accomplish the end designed ; and if I am not greatly 
mistaken, they would prove entirely insufficient to 
stop the progress of emancipation. 

"If it is the determination of the people of Savan- 
nah to deliver up to a lawless and blood-thirsty mob 
every person coming among them w T hose sentiments 
are opposed to slavery, I apprehend there are very 
few r at the North who would not be obnoxious to 
their hostility. For I believe they all view slavery 
as an evil that must be abolished at no very distant 
day. Would it not be well for the people of the 
South to reflect upon the tendency of their conduct ? 
Where such aggressions upon humanity are com- 
mitted, the slaves will naturally inquire into the 


cause ; and when they are informed that it is in con- 
sequence of their oppressed and degraded condition, 
and that the persons thus persecuted are charged 
w ith being their friends, they cannot feel indifferent. 
One such scene as was witnessed in the case of my 
son would tend more to excite a spirit of insurrec- 
tion and insubordination among them, than ten thou- 
sand ' incendiary pamphlets,' not one word of which 
any of them could read. My son went to Savannah 
solely on his own private business, without any in- 
tention of interfering with the slaves, or with the 
subject of slavery in any way. But even supposing 
the charge to have been true, do not your laws 
award sufficient punishment ? How could you stand 
silently by, and witness proceedings that would put 
to blush the Arab, or the untutored inhabitant of the 
wilderness in our own country? The negroes, whom 
you affect to despise so much, would set an example 
of benevolence and humanity, when on their own 
soil, if a stranger came among them, which you can- 
not be prepared to imitate, till you have made great 
improvements in civilization. 

"The people of Savannah profess Christianity; 
but what avails profession, where latitude is given to 
the vilest and most depraved passions of the human 
heart ? Suppose the mob had murdered my son ; a 
young man who went among you in the ordinary 
course of his business, and who, even according to 


your understanding of the term, had done no evil ; a 
young man of fair reputation, with numerous near 
relatives and friends to mourn over the barbarous 
deed ; would you have been guiltless ? I think the 
just witness in your consciences would answer 

" I have long deplored the evils of slavery, and 
my sympathy has often been much excited for the 
master, as well as the slave. I am aware of the 
difficulties attending the system, and I should rejoice 
if I could aid in devising some mode of relief, that 
would satisfy the claims of justice and humanity, 
and at the same time be acceptable to the inhabi- 
tants of the South. 

"It is certainly cause of deep regret that the 
Southern people suffer their angry passions to be- 
come so highly excited on this subject, which, of all 
others, ought to be calmly considered. For it re- 
mains a truth that 'the wrath of man worketh not 
the righteousness of God,' neither can it open his 
eyes to see in what his best interest consists. 0, 
that your ears may be open to the voice of wisdom 
before it is too late ! The lanfrua<re of an eminent 
statesman, who was a slaveholder, often occurs to 
me : 'I tremble for my country when I reflect that 
God is just, and that his justice will not sleep for- 
ever.' Surely we have high authority for believing 
that 'For .the crying of the poor, and the sighing of 


the needy, God will arise.' I hope I shall not be 
ipected of entertaining hostile or unkind feelings 
toward the people of the South, when I say that I 
believe slavery must and will be abolished. As sure 
as God is merciful and good, it is an evil that can- 
not endure forever. 

"An inspired apostle says, that our gracious Crea- 
tor 'hath made of one blood all nations of men ;' and 
our Saviour gave this commandment : 'As ye would 
that men should do to you, do ye also to them like- 
wise/ If we believe these declarations, and I hope 
none doubt their authority, I should think reasoning 
unnecessary to convince us that to oppress and en- 
slave our fellow men cannot be pleasing to Him, who 
is just and equal in all his ways. 

"My concern for the welfare of my fellow men is 
not confined to color, or circumscribed by geographi- 
cal lines. I can never see human suffering without 
feeling compassion, and I would always gladly alle- 
viate it, if I had it in my power. I remember that 
we are all, without distinction of color or locality, 
children of the same Universal Parent, who delights 
to see the human family dwell together in peace and 
harmony. I am strongly inclined to the opinion that 
the proceedings of that portion of the inhabitants of 
the North who are called abolitionists, would not 
produce so much agitation and excitement at the 
South, if the people there felt entirely satisfied that 


slavery was justifiable in the sight of infinite purity 
and justice. An eminent minister of the Gospel, 
about the middle of the seventeenth century, often 
urged upon the attention of people this emphatic in- 
junction : 'Mind the light !' 'All things that are re- 
proved are made manifest by the light ; for whatso- 
ever doth make manifest is light.' Now, if this light, 
or spirit of truth, ' a manifestation of which is given 
to every man to profit withal,' should be found testi- 
fying in your consciences against injustice and op- 
pression, regard its admonitions ! It will let none 
remain at ease in their sins. It will justify for well 
doing ; but to those who rebel against it, and disre- 
gard its reproofs, it will become the 'worm that di- 
eth not, and the fire that is not quenched.' 

" I am aware that complaints are often made, be- 
cause obstacles are thrown in the way of Southern- 
ers reclaiming their fugitive slaves. But bring the 
matter home to yourselves. Suppose a white man 
resided among you, who, for a series of years, had 
conducted with sobriety, industry, and probity, and 
had given frequent evidence of the kindness of his 
heart, by a disposition to oblige whenever opportuni- 
ty offered ; suppose he had a wife and children de- 
pendent upon him, and supported them comfortably 
and respectably ; could you see that man dragged 
from his bed, and from the bosom of his family, in 
the dead time of night, manacled, and hurried away 


into a distant part of the country, where his family 
could never see him again, and where they knew he 
must linger out a miserable existence, more intolera- 
ble than death, amid the horrors of slavery ? I ask 
whether you could witness all this, without the most 
poignant grief? This is no picture of the fancy. 
It is a sober reality. The only difference is, the 
men thus treated are black. But in my view, this 
does not diminish the horrors of such cruel deeds. 
Can it be expected then, that the citizens of this 
state, or indeed of any other, would witness all this, 
without instituting the severest scrutiny into the le- 
gality of the proceedings ? More especially, when 
it is known that the persons employed in this nefari- 
ous business of hunting up fugitive slaves are men 
destitute of principle, whose hearts are callous as 
flint, and who would send a free man into bondage 
with as little compunction as they w T ould a slave, if 
they could do it w T ith impunity. 

" Of latter time, w T e hear much said about a dis- 
solution of the Union. Far better, in my view, that 
this should take place, if it can be effected without 
violence, than to remain as we are ; when a peacea- 
ble citizen cannot enter your territory on his own 
lawful business, without the risk of being murdered 
by a ruthless mob. 

"With reverent thankfulness to Him, who num- 
bers the hairs of our heads, without whose notice not 


even a sparrow falls to the ground,- and to whose 
providence I consider myself indebted for the re- 
demption of my beloved son from the hands of bar- 
barians, permit me again to say that I feel sincerely 
grateful to thee and others, who kindly lent aid, 
though late, in rescuing him from the violence of un- 
reasonable and wicked men, who sought his life 
without a cause. I may never have it in my power 
to do either of you personally a kindness ; but some 
other member of the great family of mankind may 
need assistance in a way that I can relieve him. If 
this should be the case, I hope I shall not fail to em- 
brace the opportunity. 

"With fervent desires that the beneficent Creator 
and Father of the Universe may open the eyes of all 
to see that 'the fast which he hath chosen is to loose 
the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens 
and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break 

every yoke.' 

"1 am thy sincere friend, 

Isaac T. Hopper." 

Soon after the circumstances above related, the 
mayor of New-York revoked the warrant of the 
marshal, who had been so conspicuous in the out- 
rage. This step was taken in consequence of his 
own admissions concerning his conduct. 

In 1837, a little incident occurred, which may be 
interesting to those who are curious concerning phre- 


nology. At a small social party in New- York, a dis- 
cussion arose on that subject ; and, as usual, some 
wvrc disposed to believe and others to ridicule. At 
lust the disputants proposed to test the question by 
careful experiment. Friend Hopper was one of the 
party, and they asked him to have his he,ad examined 
by the well-known 0. S. Fowler. Having a good- 
natured willingness to gratify their curiosity, he con- 

ited. It was agreed that he should not speak dur- 
ing the operation, lest the tones of his voice might 
serve as an index of his character. It was further 
stipulated that no person in the room should give 
any indication by which the phrenologist might be 
enabled to judge whether he was supposed to be 
speaking correctly or not. The next day, Mr. Fow- 
ler was introduced blindfolded into a room, where 
Isaac T. Hopper was seated with the party of the 
preceding evening. Having passed his hands over 
the strongly developed head, he made the following 
statement, which was taken down by a rapid writer, 
as the words fell from his lips. 

"The first and strongest manifestation of this 
character is efficiency. Not one man in a thousand 
is capable of accomplishing so much. The strong 
points are very strong ; the weak points are weak ; 
so that he is an eccentric and peculiar character. 

"The pole-star of his character is moral cour- 


"He has very little reverence, and stands in no 
awe of the powers that be. He pays no regard to 
forms or ceremonies, or established customs, in 
church or state. He renders no homage to great 
names, such as D.D. ; L.L.D. ; or Excellency. He 
treats his fellow men with kindness and affection, 
but not with sufficient respect and courtesy. 

"He is emphatically republican in feeling and 
character. He makes himself free and familiar with 
every one. He often lets himself down too much. 
This constitutes a radical defect in his character. 

"He will assert and maintain human rights and 
liberty at every hazard. In this cause, he will stake 
anything, or suffer anything. This constitutes the 
leading feature of his character. Every other ele- 
ment is blended into this. 

"I should consider him a very cautious man in 
fact, though in appearance he is very imprudent ; 
especially in remarks on moral subjects. 

"He is too apt to denounce those whom he con- 
siders in error ; to apply opprobrious epithets and 
censure in the strongest terms, and the boldest man- 

"I have seldom, if ever, met with a larger organ 
of conscientiousness. 

"Nothing so much delights him as to advocate 
and propagate moral principles ; no matter how un- 
popular the principles may be. 


"He has very little credulity. 

"lie is one of the closest observers of men and 
things anywhere to be found. He sees, as it were 
by intuition everything that passes around him, and 
understands just when and where to take men and 
tilings ; just how and where to say things with 
effect ; and in all he says, he speaks directly to the 

"He says and does a great many severe and cut- 
ting things. If anybody else said and did such 
things, they would at once get into hot water ; but 
he says and does them in such a manner, that even 
his enemies, and those against whom his censures 
are aimed, cannot be offended with him. He is al- 
ways on the verge of difficulty, but never in diffi- 

" He is hated mainly by those not personally ac- 
quainted with him. A personal interview, even with 
his greatest enemies, generally removes enmity ; be- 
cause of the smoothness and easiness of his man- 

"He has at command a great amount of well-di- 
gested information on almost every subject, and 
makes admirable use of his knowledge. He has a 
great many facts, and always brings them in their 
right place. His general memory of particulars, 
incidents, places, and words, is really wonderful. 

But he has a weak memorv concerning names, dates, 


numbers, and colors. He never recognizes persons 
by their dress, or by the color of anything pertaining 
to them. 

"He tells a story admirably, and acts it out to the 
life. He makes a great deal of fun, and keeps 
others in a roar of laughter, while he is -sober him- 
self. For his fun, he is as much indebted to the 
manner as to the matter. He makes his jokes 
mainly by happy comparisons, striking illustrations, 
and the imitative power with which he expresses 

"He possesses a great amount of native talent, 
but it is so admirably distributed, that he appears to 
have more than he actually possesses. 

"His attachment to his friends is remarkably 
strong and ardent. But he will associate with none 
except those whose moral characters are unimpeach- 

" He expects and anticipates a great deal ; enters 
largely into things ; takes hold of every measure 
with spirit ; and is always overwhelmed with busi- 
ness. Move where he will, he cannot be otherwise 
than a distinguished man." 

That this description was remarkably accurate in 
most particulars will be obvious to those who have 
read the preceding anecdotes. It is not true, how- 
ever, that he was enthusiastic in character, or that 
he had the appearance of being so. He was far too 

life OF ISAAC T. HOPPER. 339 

practical and self-possessed, to have the reputation 
of being "half crazy," even among those who are 
prone to regard everything as insane that is out of 
the common course. Neither do I think he was 
accustomed to "let himself down too much;" for ac- 
cording to my radical ideas, a man cannot "let him- 
self down," who "associates only with those whose 
moral characters are unimpeachable." It is true 
that he was pleasant and playful in conversation 
with all classes of people; but he was remarkably 
free from any tinge of vulgarity. It is true, also, 
that he was totally and entirely unconscious of any 
such thing as distinctions of rank. I have been 
acquainted with many theoretical democrats, and 
with not a few who tried to be democratic, from 
kind feelings and principles of justice ; but Friend 
Hopper and Francis Jackson of Boston are the only 
two men I ever met, who were born democrats ; who 
could not help it, if they tried ; and who would not 
know how to try ; so completely did they, by nature, 
ignore all artificial distinctions. Of course, I do not 
use the word democrat in its limited party sense , 
but to express their perfect unconsciousness that any 
man was considered to be above them, or any man 
beneath them. If Friend Hopper encountered his 
wood-sawyer, after a considerable absence, he would 
shake hands warmly, and give him a cordial wel- 
come.' If the English Prince had called upon him, 


he would have met with the same friendly reception, 
and would probably have been accosted something 
after this fashion: "How art thou, friend Albert? 
They tell me thou art amiable and kindly disposed 
toward the people ; and I am glad to see thee." 
Those who observe the parting advice given by 
Isaac's mother, when he went to serve his appren- 
ticeship in Philadelphia, will easily infer that this 
peculiarity was hereditary. Some men, who rise 
above their original position, either in character or 
fortune, endeavor to conceal their early history. 
Others obtrude it upon all occasions, in order to 
magnify themselves by a contrast between what 
they have been and what they are. But he did 
neither the one nor the other. The subject did not 
occupy his thoughts. He spoke of having been a 
tailor, whenever it came naturally in his way, but 
never for the sake of doing so. His having been 
born in a hen-house was a mere external accident in 
his eyes ; and in the same light he regarded the fact 
that Victoria was born in a palace. What was the 
spiritual condition of the two at any given age, 
was the only thing that seemed to him of real im- 

His steadfastness in maintaining moral principles, 
"however unpopular those principles might be," was 
severely tried in the autumn of 1838. At a late 
hour in the night, two colored men came to his house, 


and one introduced the other as a stranger in the 
city, who had need of a lodging. Friend Hopper of 
course conjectured that he might be a fugitive slave ; 
and this conjecture was confirmed the next morning. 
The stranger was a mulatto, about twenty-two years 
old, and called himself Thomas Hughes. According 
to his own account, he was the son of a wealthy 
planter in Virginia, who sold his mother with him- 
self and his twin sister when they were eleven 
months old. His mother and sister were subse- 
quently sold, but he could never ascertain where 
they were sent. When he was about thirteen, he 
was purchased by the son of his first master. Being 
hardly dealt with by this relative, he one day re- 
monstrated with him for treating his own brother 
with so much severity. This was, of course, deemed 
a great piece of insolence in a bondman, and he was 
punished by being sold to a speculator, carried off 
hand-cufTed, with his feet tied under the horse's 
belly, and finally shipped for Louisiana with a coffle 
of five hundred slaves. He was bought by a gam- 
bler, who took him to Louisville, Kentucky. When 
he had lived there three years, his master, having 
lost large sums of money, told him he should be 
obliged to sell him. Thomas had meanwhile ascer- 
tained that his father had removed to Kentucky, and 
was still a very wealthy man. He obtained per- 
mission to go and see him, with the hope that he 


would purchase him and set him free. Accordingly, 
he called upon him, and told him that he was Tho- 
mas, the son of his slave Rachel, who had always 
assured him that he was his father. The rich 
planter did not deny poor Rachel's assertion, but in 
answer to her son's inquiries, he plainly manifested 
that he neither knew nor cared who had bought her, 
or to what part of the country she had been sent. 
Thomas represented his own miserable condition, in 
being sold from one to another, and subject to the 
will of whoever happened to be his owner. He in- 
treated his father to purchase him, with a view to 
manumission ; but himself and his proposition were 
both treated with supreme contempt. Thus rejected 
by his father, and unable to discover any traces of 
his mother, he returned disheartened to Louisville, 
and was soon after sent to New-Orleans to be sold. 
Mr. John P. Darg, a speculator in slaves, bought 
him ; and he soon after married a girl named Mary, 
who belonged to his new master. Mr. Darg went to 
New-York, to visit some relatives, and took Thomas 
with him. It was only a few days after their arrival 
in the city, that the slave left him, and went to Isaac 
T. Hopper to ask a lodging. When he acknow- 
ledged that he was a fugitive, intending to take 
refuge in Canada, it was deemed imprudent for him 
to remain under the roof of a person so widely 
known as an abolitionist ; but a very benevolent and 


intelligent Quaker lady, near eighty years old, named 
Margaret Shoemaker, gladly gave him shelter. 

When Friend Hopper went to his place of busi- 
ness, after parting with the colored stranger, he saw 
an advertisement in a newspaper called the Sun, of- 
fering one thousand dollars reward, for the apprehen- 
sion and return of a mulatto man, who had stolen 
seven or eight thousand dollars from a house in Va- 
rick-street. A proportionate reward was offered for 
the recovery of any part of the money. Though no 
names were mentioned, he had reason to conjecture 
that Thomas Hughes might be the mulatto in ques- 
tion. He accordingly sought him out, read the ad- 
vertisement to him, and inquired whether he had sto- 
len anything from his master. He denied having 
committed any theft, and said the pretence that he 
had done so was a mere trick, often resorted to by 
slaveholders, when they wanted to catch a runaway 
slave. That this remark was true, Friend Hopper 
knew very well by his own experience ; he therefore 
concluded it was likely that Thomas was not guilty. 
He expressed this conviction in conversation on the 
subject with Barney Corse, a benevolent member 
of the Society of Friends, who was kindly disposed 
toward the colored people. In compliance with 
Friend Hopper's request, that gentleman waited up- 
on the editor of the Sun, accompanied by a lawyer, 
and was assured that a large amount of money real- 


ly had been stolen from Mr. Darg, and that if he 
could recover it, he was willing to give a pledge for 
the manumission of the slave, beside paying the pro- 
mised reward to whoever would enable him to get 
possession of the money. Barney Corse called up- 
on Mr. Darg, who promptly confirmed the state- 
ment made by the editor in his name. The Friend 
then promised that he, and others who were inter- 
ested for the slave, would do their utmost to obtain 
tidings of the money, and see it safely restored, on 
those conditions ; but he expressly stipulated that 
he could not do it otherwise, because he had consci- 
entious scruples, which would prevent him, in all 
cases, from helping to return a fugitive slave to his 

It is to be observed that the promise of manumis- 
sion was given as the highest bribe that could be 
offered to induce the slave to refund the money he 
had taken ; for though in argument slaveholders 
generally maintain that their slaves have no desire 
for freedom, they are never known to act upon that 
supposition. In this case, the offer served a double 
purpose ; for it stimulated the benevolent zeal of 
Friend Hopper and Barney Corse, and induced the 
fugitive to confess what he had done. He still denied 
that he had any intention of stealing, but declared 
that he took the money merely to obtain power over 
his master, hoping that the promise to restore it 


would secure his manumission. It is impossible to 
tell whether he spoke truth or not ; for poor Thomas 
had been educated in a bad school of morals. Sold 
by his father, abused by his brother, and for years 
compelled to do the bidding of gamblers and slave- 
speculators, how could he be expected to have very 
clear perceptions of right and wrong? The circum- 
stances of the case, however, seem to render it ra- 
ther probable that he really was impelled by the mo- 
live which he assigned for his conduct. Mr. Darg 
declared that he had previously considered him an 
honest and faithful servant ; that he was in the habit 
of trusting him with the key of his trunk, and fre- 
quently sent him to it for money. The bank-bills 
he had purloined were placed in the hands of two 
colored men in New-York, because, as he said, he 
could not return them himself, but must necessarily 
employ somebody to do it for him, in the intended 
process of negotiating for his freedom. 

Friend Hopper, his son-in-law James S. Gibbons, 
and Barney Corse, were very earnest to recover the 
money, for the best of reasons. In the first place, 
they greatly desired to secure the manumission of 
the slave. In the second place, the honesty of their 
characters led them to wish that the master should 
recover what was his own. In both instances, they 
wished to restore stolen property to the rightful 

owner ; to Thomas Hughes the free use of his own 


faculties and limbs, which had been stolen from him, 
and to Mr. Darg the money that had been purloined 
from him. It is not likely that the Southerner would 
have ever regained any portion of the amount sto- 
len, had it not been for their exertions. But, by 
careful and judicious management, they soon re- 
covered nearly six thousand dollars, which was im- 
mediately placed in one of the principal banks of the 
city, with a full statement of the circumstances of 
the case to the cashier. Over one thousand more 
was heard of as having been deposited with a colored 
man in Albany. Friend Hopper proposed that Bar- 
ney Corse should go in pursuit of it, accompanied 
by the colored man who sent it there. He agreed to 
do so ; but he deemed it prudent to have a previous 
interview with Mr. Darg, to obtain his written pro- 
mise to manumit Thomas, to pay the necessary ex- 
penses of the journey, and to exonerate from crimi- 
nal prosecution any person or persons connected 
with the robbery, provided that assurance proved 
necessary in order to get possession of the money. 
All this being satisfactorily accomplished, he went to 
Albany and brought back the sum said to have been 
deposited there. Ten or fourteen hundred dollars 
were still wanting to complete the amount, which 
Mr. Darg said he had lost; but they had hopes ol 
obtaining that also, by confronting various individu- 
als, who had become involved with this complicated 


affair. Meanwhile, Barney Corse and- James S. 
Gibbons called upon Mr. Darg to inform him of the 
amount recovered and safely deposited in the bank, 
and to pay him the sum brought from Albany. In- 
stead of giving the deed of manumission, which had 
been his own voluntary offer at the outset, and which 
he knew had been the impelling motive to exertion, 
Mr. Darg had two police-officers in an adjoining 
room to arrest Barney Corse for having stolen money 
in his possession. He was of course astonished at 
such an ungrateful return for his services, but at 
once expressed his readiness to go before any magis- 
trate that might be named. 

It would not be easy to give an adequate idea of 
the storm of persecution that followed. Popular 
prejudice against abolitionists was then raging with 
uncommon fury ; and police-officers and editors 
availed themselves of it to the utmost to excite hos- 
tility against individuals, who had been actuated by 
a kind motive, and who had proceeded with perfect 
openness throughout the whole affair. The newspa- 
pers of the city were pro-slavery, almost without ex- 
ception. The idea of sending abolitionists to the 
State Prison was a glorious prospect, over which 
they exulted mightily. They represented that Tho- 
mas had been enticed from his master by these pre- 
tended philanthropists, who had advised him to steal 
the money, as a cunning mode of obtaining manu- 


mission. As for the accused, all they asked was a 
speedy and thorough investigation of their conduct. 
The case was however postponed from week to 
week, and offers were made meanwhile to compro- 
mise the matter, if Barney Corse would pay the bal- 
ance of the lost money. He had wealthy connex- 
ions, and perhaps the prosecutors hoped to extort 
money from them, to avoid the disgrace of a trial. 
But Barney Corse was far from wishing to avoid a 

At this juncture of affairs, Friend Hopper took a 
step, which raised a great clamor among his ene- 
mies, and puzzled some of his friends at the time, 
because they did not understand his motives. He 
sued Mr. Darg for the promised reward of one thou- 
sand dollars. He had several reasons for this pro- 
ceeding. In the first place, the newspapers continu- 
ally pointed him out as a man over whose head a cri- 
minal prosecution was pending ; while he had at the 
same time had good reason to believe that his accusers 
would never venture to meet him before a court of 
justice ; and a proper regard for his own character 
made him resolved to obtain a legal investigation of 
bis conduct by some process. In the second place, 
Mr. Darg had subjected Barney Corse to a great 
deal of trouble and expense ; and Friend Hopper 
thought it no more than fair that expenses caused by 
his own treachery should be paid from his own pock- 


et. In the third place, David Ruggles, a worthy 
colored man, no way implicated in the transaction, 
had been arrested, and was likely to be involved in 
expense. In the fourth place, the police officers, 
who advised the arrest of Barney Corse, made them- 
selves very conspicuous in the persecution. He be- 
lieved they had been actuated by a desire to obtain 
the reward for themselves ; and as they had no just 
claim to it, he determined to defeat them in this at- 
tempt. Pie therefore sued for the reward himself, 
though he never intended to use a dollar of it. This 
was manifested at the time, by a declaration in the 
newspapers, that if he recovered the reward, he 
would give all over the expenses to some benevolent 
society. It was frequently intimated to him that 
there should be no further proceedings against him, 
if he would withdraw this suit ; but he constantly 
replied that a trial was what he wanted. Finding 
all overtures rejected, a complaint was laid before 
the Grand Jury ; and such was the state of popular 
prejudice, that twelve out of nineteen of that body 
concurred in finding a bill against men of excellent 
moral character, without any real evidence to sus- 
tain the charge. Barney Corse had never taken 
measures to prevent the arrest of Thomas Hughes. 
He simply declined to render any assistance. He 
believed that he was under no legal obligation to do 
otherwise ; and he knew for a certainty that he was 


under no moral obligation ; because conscience would 
not allow him to aid in returning a runaway slave to 
his master. Nevertheless, he and Isaac T. Hopper, 
and James S. Gibbons, were indicted for "felonious- 
ly receiving, harboring, aiding and maintaining said 
Thomas, in order that he might escape from arrest, 
and avoid conviction and punishment." Friend 
Hopper was advised that he might avail himself of 
some technical defects in the indictment ; but he de- 
clined doing it ; always insisting that a public inves- 
tigation was what he wanted. 

The trial was carried on in the same spirit that 
characterized the previous proceedings. A colored 
man, known to have had dishonest possession of a 
portion of the lost money, was admitted to testify, 
on two successive trials, against Barney Corse, who 
had always sustained a fair character. The District 
Attorney talked to the jury of "the necessity of ap- 
peasing the South." As if convicting an honest and 
kind-hearted Quaker of being accomplice in a felony 
could do anything toward settling the questions that 
divided North and South on the subject of slavery ! 
One of the jury declared that he never would acquit 
an abolitionist. Mr. Darg testified of himself dur- 
ing the trial, that he never intended to manumit 
Thomas, and had made the promise merely as a 
means of obtaining his money. The newspapers 
spoke as if the guilt of the accused was not to be 


doubted, and informed the jury that the public ex- 
pected them to convict these men. 

In fact, the storm lowered so darkly, that some 
friends of the persecuted individuals began to feel 
uneasy. But Friend Hopper's mind was perfectly 
undisturbed. Highly respectable lawyers offered to 
conduct the cause for him ; but he gratefully declin- 
ed, saying he preferred to manage it for himself. 
He informed the court that he presumed they under- 
stood the law, and he was quite sure that he under- 
stood the facts ; therefore, he saw no need of a law- 
yer between them. The Court of Sessions was held 
e\'ery month, and he appeared before it at almost 
every term, to demand a trial. At last, in January 
1840, when the hearing had been delayed fifteen 
months, he gave notice that unless he w r as tried dur- 
ing that term, he should appear on the last day of it, 
and request that a nolle prosequi should be ordered. 
The trial not coming on, he appeared accordingly, 
and made a very animated speech, in which he dwelt 
with deserved severity on the evils of the police 
system, and on the efforts of a corrupt press to per- 
vert the public mind. He said he did not make 
these remarks to excite sympathy. He was not 
there to ask for mercy, but to demand justice. 
" And I would have you all to understand distinct- 
ly," continued the brave old man, "that I have no 
wish to evade the charge against me for being an 


abolitionist. I am an abolitionist. In that, I am 
charged truly. I have been an abolitionist from my 
early years, and I always expect to remain so. For 
this, I am prosecuted and persecuted. I most sin- 
cerely believe that slavery is the greatest sin the 
Lord Almighty ever suffered to exist upon this earth. 
As sure as God is good and just, he will put an end 
to it ; and all opposition w T ill be in vain. As regards 
myself, I can only say, that having lived three-score 
and nearly ten years, with a character that placed 
me above suspicion in. such matters as have been 
urged against me, I cannot now forego the principles 
which have always influenced my conduct in relation 
to slavery. Neither force on the one hand, nor per- 
suasion on the other, will ever alter my course of 

One of the New- York papers, commenting on 
this speech, at the time, states that "the old gentle- 
man was listened to very attentively. He w T as com- 
posed, dignified, and clear in his manner, and evi- 
dently had much effect on the court and a large 
number of spectators. He certainly needed no coun- 
sel to aid him." 

The court ordered a nolle prosequi to be entered, 
and the defendants were all discharged. The suit 
for the reward proceeded no further. David Ruggles 
had been early discharged, and the whole case had 
been completely before the public in pamphlet form ; 


therefore the principal objects for urging it no longer 

Though the friends of human freedom made rea- 
sonable allowance for a man brought up under such 
demoralizing influences as Thomas Hughes had been, 
1 hoy of course felt less confidence in him, than they 
would have done had he sought to obtain liberty by 
some more commendable process. Being aware of 
this, he returned to his master, not long after he 
acknowledged the theft. At one time, it was pro- 
ved to send him back to the South ; but he swore 
that he would cut his throat rather than return into 
slavery. The best lawyers declared their opinion 
that he was legally entitled to freedom, in conse- 
quence of his master's written promise to manumit 
him if the money were restored; consequently some 
difficulties would have attended any attempt to 
coerce him. He was tried on an indictment for 
grand larceny, convicted, and sentenced to the State 
Prison for two years ; the shortest term allowed for 
the offence charged against him. Through the 
whole course of the affair, he proved himself to be a 
very irresolute and unreliable character. At one 
time, he said that his master was a notorious gam- 
bler ; then he denied that he ever said so ; then he 
affirmed that his first statement was true, though he 
had been frightened into contradicting it. When his 
time was out at Sing Sing, he expressed to Friend 


Hopper and others his determination to remain at 
the North ; but after an interview with Mr. Darg, he 
consented to return to the South with him. Al- 
though he was thus wavering in character, he could 
never be persuaded to say that any abolitionist ad- 
vised him to take his master's money. He always 
declared that no white man knew anything about 
it, until after he had placed it out of his own hands ; 
and that the friends who were willing to aid him in 
procuring his manumission had always expressed 
their regret that he had committed such a wrong 
action. He deserved praise for his consistency on 
this point ; for he had the offer of being exempted 
from prosecution himself, and used as a witness, 
if he would say they advised him to steal the mo- 

When Thomas Hughes consented to return to the 
South with Mr. Darg, it was with the full under- 
standing that he went as a free man, consenting to 
be his servant. This he expressed during his last 
interview with Friend Hopper, in Mr. Darg's pre- 
sence. But the newspapers represented that he had 
voluntarily gone back into slavery ; and such was 
their exultation over his supposed choice, that a per- 
son unacquainted with the history of our republic 
miffht have inferred that the heroes of the revolution 
fought and died mainly for the purpose of convincing 
their posterity of the superior advantages of slavery 


over freedom. However, it was not long before 
Thomas returned to New- York, and told the follow- 
ing story : "A short time before my release from 
prison, Mr. Darg brought my wife to see me, and 
told me we should both be free and enjoy each other's 
society as long as we lived, if I would go with him. 
He said I should suffer here at the North ; for the 
abolitionists would do nothing for me. I went with 
him solely with the hope of living with Mary. I 
thought if he attempted to hold me as a slave, we 
would both run away, the first opportunity. He told 
me we should meet Mary in Washington ; but when 
we arrived in Baltimore, he shut me up in jail, and 
told me Mary was sold, and carried off South. I 
cannot describe how I felt. I never expect to see 
her again. He asked me if I consented to come 
with him on Mary's account, or on his own account. 
I thought it would make it better for me to say on 
his account ; and I said so. I hope the Lord w T ill 
forgive me for telling a falsehood. When I had 
been in jail some time, he called to see me, and said 
that as I did not come with him on account of my 
wife, he w T ould not sell me ; that I should be free, 
and he would try to buy Mary for me." 

Thomas said he was informed that certain people 
in New- York wrote to Mr. Darg, advising him not to 
sell him, because the abolitionists predicted that he 
would do so ; and he thought that was the reason 


why he was not sold. If this supposition was correct, 
it is a great pity that his master was not induced by 
some better motive to avoid an evil action. Thomas 
uniformly spoke of Mrs. Darg with respect and 
gratitude. He said, " She was always very kind to 
me and Mary. 1 know she did not want to have 
me sold, or to have Mary sold ; for I believe she 
loved her. I feel very sorry that I could not live 
with her and be free ; but I had rather live in the 
State Prison all my life than to be a slave." 

I never heard what became of Thomas. Friend 
Shoemaker used to tell me, years afterward, how she 
secreted him, and rejoiced in the deed. I heard the 
good lady, when more than ninety years old, just before 
her death, talk the matter over ; and her kindly, in- 
telligent countenance smiled all over, as she recount- 
ed how she had contrived to dodge the police, and 
avoid being a witness in the case. The Fugitive 
Slave Law would be of no avail to tyrants, if all the 
women at the North had as much moral courage, and 
were as benevolent and quick-witted as she was. 

Those who were most active in persecuting Friend 
Hopper and Barney Corse convinced the public, by 
their subsequent disreputable career, that they were 
not men whose word could be relied upon. 

Dr. R. W. Moore, of Philadelphia, in a letter to 
Friend Hopper concerning this troublesome case, 
says • "I am aware thou hast passed through many 


trials in the prosecution of this matter. Condemned 
by the world, censured by some of thy friends, and 
discouraged by the weak, thou hast had much to 
bear. But thou hast been able to foil thy enemies, 
and to pass through the flames without the smell of 
fire on thy garments. Thy christian firmness is an 
example to us all. It reminds one of those ancient 
Quakers, who, knowing themselves in the right, suf- 
fered wrongs rather than compromise their princi- 
ples. For the sake of mankind, I am sorry there 
are not more such characters among us. They 
would do more to exalt our principles, than a host of 
the professors of the present day." 

A year or two later, another incident occurred, 
which excited similar exultation among New- York 
editors, that a human being had been so wise as to 
prefer slavery to freedom ; and there w r as about as 
much cause for such exultation as there had been in 
the case of Thomas Hughes. 

Mrs. Burke of New-Orleans went to New- York to 
visit a relative by the name of Morgan. She brought 
a slave to attend upon her, and took great care to 
prevent her becoming acquainted with the colored 
people. I don't know how city editors would ac- 
count for this extreme caution, consistently with 
their ideas of the blessedness of slavery. They 
might argue that there was danger free colored peo- 
ple would be so attracted by her charming pictures 


of bondage, that they would emigrate to the South 
in larger numbers than would supply the slave-mar- 
kets, and thus occasion some depression in an honor- 
able branch of trade in this republic. However 
they might please to explain it, the simple fact was, 
Mrs. Burke did not allow her slave to go into the 
street. Of course, she must have had some other 
motive than the idea that freedom could be attrac- 
tive to her. The colored people became aware of the 
careful constraint imposed upon the woman, and 
they informed the abolitionists. Thinking it right 
that slaves should be made aware of their legal 
claim to freedom, when brought or sent into the free 
states, with knowledge and consent of their mas- 
ters, they applied to Judge Oakley for a writ of ha- 
beas corpus, by virtue of which the girl was brought 
before him. While she was in waiting, Friend Hop- 
per heard of the circumstance, and immediately pro- 
ceeded to the court-room. There he found Mr. 
Morgan and one of his southern friends talking busi- 
ly with the slave. The woman appeared frightened 
and undecided, as is often the case, under such cir- 
cumstances. Those who wished her to return to the 
South plied her with fair promises. They represent- 
ed abolitionists as a set of kidnappers, who seized 
colored strangers under friendly pretences, and no- 
body could tell what became of them afterward. It 
was urged that her condition would be most misera- 


ble with the "free niggers" of the North, even if the 
abolitionists did not sell her, or spirit her away to 
some unknown region. 

On the other hand, the colored people, who had 
assembled about the court-room, were very eager to 
Tescue her from slavery. She did not understand 
fieir motives, or those of the abolitionists ; for they 
had been diligently misrepresented to her. "What 
do they want to do it for?'''' she asked, with a per- 
plexed air. "What will they do with me?" She 
was afraid there was some selfish motive concealed. 
She dared not trust the professions of strangers, 
whose characters had been so unfavorably represent- 
ed. Friend Hopper found her in this confused state 
of mind. The Southerner was very willing to speak 
for her. He gave assurance that she did not want 
her freedom ; that she desired to return to the 
South ; and that she had been in no respect distrain- 
ed of her liberty in the city of New-York. 

"Thou art a very respectable looking man," said 
Friend Hopper; "but T have known slaveholders, of 
even more genteel appearance than thou art, tell 
gross falsehoods where a slave was in question. I 
tell thee plainly, that I have no confidence in slave- 
holders, in any such case. I have had too much 
acquaintance with them. I know their game too 

The Southerner said something about its being 


both mean and wrong to come between master and 

"Such may be thy opinion," replied Friend Hop- 
per ; "but my views of duty differ from thine in this 
matter." Then turning to the woman, he said, " By 
the laws here, thou art free. No man has a right to 
make thee a slave again. Thou may est stay at the 
North, or go back to New-Orleans, just as thou 

The Southerner here interposed to say, "Mind 
what that old gentleman says. You can go back to 
New-Orleans, to your husband, if you prefer to go." 

"But let me tell thee," said Friend Hopper to the 
woman, "that if thou stayest here, thou wilt be 
free ; but if they carry thee back, they may sell 
thee away from thy husband. Dost thou wish to be 
free ?" 

The tears gushed from her eyes in full flood, and 
she replied earnestly, "I do want to* be free. To be 
sure I do want to be free ; but then I want to go to 
my husband." 

Mr. Morgan and his Southern friend grew excited. 
"With an angry glance at the old gentleman, the lat- 
ter exclaimed, "I only wish we had you in New-Or- 
leans ! We'd hang you up in twenty-four hours." 

"Then you are a set of savages," replied Friend 

" You are a set of thieves," retorted he. 


"Well, lavages may be thieves also," rejoined the 
abolitionist, with a significant smile. 

"You arc no gentleman," responded the other, in 
an irritated tone. 

"I don't profess to be a gentleman," answered the 
impassive Quaker. "But I am an honest old man; 
and perhaps that will do as well." 

This remark occasioned a general smile. Indeed 
it was pleasant to observe, throughout this scene in 
the court-room, that popular sympathy was altogeth- 
er on the side of freedom. It was a strange blind 
instinct on the part of the people, considering how 
diligently they had been instructed otherwise by pul- 
pit and press ; but so it was. 

When the slave was summoned into the judge's 
room, Friend Hopper followed ; being extremely de- 
sirous to have her understand her position clearly. 
He found Mr. Morgan and his Southern friend in 
close and earnest conversation with her. When he 
attempted to approach her, he was unceremoniously 
shoved aside, with the remark, "Don't push me 
away !" 

"I did not push thee," said Friend Hopper ; M and 

that thou dost not push me /" He then inquired 

of the woman if he had rightly understood that her 

husband was free. She replied in the affirmative. 

"Then let me tell thee," said the kind-hearted old 

gentleman, "that we will send for him, and obtain 


employment for him here, if it is thy choice to re- 

Again she wept, and repeated, "I do want to be 
free." But she was evidently bewildered and dis- 
trustful, and did not know how to understand the op- 
posite professions that were made to her. 

On representation of the claimant's friends, Judge 
Oakley adjourned the case till the next morning ; 
telling the woman she was at liberty to go with 
whom she pleased. The colored people had assem- 
bled in considerable numbers, and were a good deal 
excited. Experience led them to suppose that she 
would either be cajoled into consenting to return to 
slavery, or else secretly packed off to New-Orleans, 
if she were left in Southern hands. They accord- 
ingly made haste to hustle her away. But their 
well-intended zeal terrified the poor bewildered crea- 
ture, and she escaped from them, and went back to 
her mistress. 

The pro-slavery papers chuckled, as they always 
do, when some poor ignorant victim is deceived by 
false representation, alarmed by an excitement that 
she does not comprehend, afraid that strangers are 
not telling her the truth, or that they have not the 
power to protect her ; and in continual terror of fu- 
ture punishment, if she should attempt to take her 
freedom, and yet be unable to maintain it. Great is 
the triumph of republicans, when, under such trying 


circumstances, one poor bewildered wretch goes back 
to slavery ; but of the hundreds, who every month 
take their freedom, through fire and flood, and all 
manner of deadly perils, they are as silent as the 

In the spring of 1841, I went to New-York to 
edit the Anti-Slavery Standard, and took up my 
abode with the family of Isaac T. Hopper. The 
zealous theological controversy among Friends natu- 
rally subsided after the separation between the op- 
posing parties had become an old and settled fact. 
Consequently the demand for Quaker books dimin- 
ished more and more. The Anti-Slavery Society, at 
that time, needed a Treasurer and Book- Agent ; and 
Friend Hopper was proposed as a suitable person for 
that office. As only a small portion of his time was 
occupied with the sale of books he had on hand, he 
concluded to accept the proposition. He was then 
nearly seventy years old ; but he appeared at least 
twenty years younger, in person and manners. His 
firm, elastic step seemed like a vigorous man of fifty. 
He would spring from the Bowery cars, while they 
were in motion, with as much agility as a lad of 
fourteen. His hair was not even sprinkled with 
gray. It looked so black and glossy, that a young 
lady, who was introduced to him, said she thought 
he wore a wig unnaturally dark for his age. It was 
a favorite joke of his to make strangers believe he 


wore a wig ; and they were not easily satisfied that 
he spoke in jest, until they examined his head. 

The roguery of his boyhood had subsided into a 
love of little mischievous tricks ; and the playful 
tone of humor, that rippled through his conversation, 
frequently reminded me of the Cheeryble Brothers, 
so admirably described by Dickens. If some one 
rang at the door, and inquired for Mr. Hopper, he 
always answered, "There is no such person lives 
here." If the stranger urged that he had been di- 
rected by a man who said he knew Mr. Hopper, he 
would persevere in saying, "There must be some 
mistake. No such person lives here." At last, when 
the disappointed visitor turned to go away, he would 
call out, "Perhaps thou means Isaac T. Hopper? 
That is my name." 

Being called upon to give a receipt to a Catholic 
priest for some money deposited in his hands, he 
simply wrote "Received of John Smith." When 
the priest had read it, he handed it back and said, 
"I am disbursing other people's money, and shall be 
obliged to show this receipt ; therefore, I should like 
to have you write my name, the Reverend John 
Smith." "I have conscientious scruples about using 
titles," replied Friend Hopper. "However, I will 
try to oblige thee." He took another slip of paper, 
and wrote, "Received of John Smith, who calls 
himself the Reverend." The priest smiled, and ac- 


cepted the compromise ; being well aware that the 
pleasantry originated in no personal or sectarian pre- 

He always had something facetious to say to the 
people with whom he traded. The oyster-men, the 
coal-men, and the women at the fruit-stalls in his 
neighborhood, all knew him as a pleasant old gentle- 
man, always ready for a joke. One day, when he 
was buying some peaches, he said to the woman, 
" A serious accident happened at our house last 
night. I killed two robbers." "Dear me!" she ex- 
claimed. "Were they young men, or old convicts? 
Had they ever been in Sing Sing?" "I don't know 
about that," replied he. "I should think they might 
have been by the noise they made. But I despatch- 
ed them before they had stolen much. The walls 
are quite bloody." ''Has a Coroner's inquest been 
called ?" inquired the woman. When he answered, 
"No," she lifted her hands in astonishment, and ex- 
claimed, "Well now, I do declare ! If anybody else 
had done it, there would have been a great fuss 
made about it ; but you are a privileged man, Mr. 
Hopper." When he was about to walk away, he 
turned round and said, "I did not mention to thee 
that the robbers I killed were two mosquitoes." The 
woman had a good laugh, and he came home as 
pleased as a boy, to think how completely his seri- 
ous manner had deceived her. 


One day he went to a hosiery store, and said to 
the man, "I bought a pair of stockings here yester- 
day. They looked very nice ; but when I got home, 
I found two large holes in them ; and I have come 
for another pair. The man summoned his wife, and 
informed her of what the gentleman had said. 

"Bless me ! Is it possible, sir ?" she exclaimed. 

"Yes," replied Friend Hopper, I found they had 
holes as large as my hand." 

"It is very strange," rejoined she; "for I am 
sure they were new. But if you have brought them 
back, of course we will change them." 

"O," said he, "upon examination, I concluded 
that the big holes were made to put the feet in ; and 
I liked the stockings so well, that I have come to 
buy another pair." 

At another time, he entered a crockery shop, 
where a young girl was tending. He made up a 
very sorrowful face, and in whining tones, told her 
that he was in trouble and needed help. She asked 
him to wait till the gentleman came ; but he contin- 
ued to beseech that she would take compassion on 
him. The girl began to be frightened by his impor- 
tunity, and looked anxiously toward the door. At 
last, the man of the shop came in ; and Friend Hop- 
per said, "This young woman thinks she cannot 
help me out of my trouble ; but I think she can. 
The fact is, we are going to have company , and so 


many of our tumblers are broken, that I came to ask 
if she would sell me a few." 

One day, when he was walking quickly up the 
Bowerv, his foot slipped on a piece of orange-peel, 
and he fell prostrate on the sidewalk. He started up 
instantly, and turning to a young man behind him, 
he said, " Couldst thou have done that any better?" 

He very often mingled with affairs in the street, 
as he passed along. One day, when he saw a man 
beating his horse brutally, he stepped up to him and 
said, very seriously, "Dost thou know that some 
people think men change into animals when they 
die ?" 

The stranger's attention was arrested by such an 
unexpected question, and he answered that he never 
was acquainted with anybody who had that belief. 

"But some people do believe it," rejoined Friend 
Hopper; "and they also believe that animals may 
become men. Now I am thinking if thou shouldst 
ever be a horse, and that horse should ever be a 
man, with such a temper as thine, the chance is thou 
wilt get some cruel beatings." Having thus changed 
the current of his angry mood, he proceeded to ex- 
postulate with him in a friendly way ; and the poor 
beast was reprieved, for that time, at least. 

He could imitate the Irish brogue very perfectly ; 
and it was a standing jest with him to make every 
Irish stranger believe he was a countryman. During 


his visit to Ireland, he had become so well acquaint- 
ed with various localities, that I believe he never in 
any instance failed to deceive them, when he said, 
"Och! and sure I came from old Ireland meself." 
After amusing himself in this way for a while, he 
would tell them, "It is true I did come from Ireland; 
but, to confess the truth, I went there first." 

Once, when he saw two Irishmen fighting-, he 
seized one of them by the arm, and said, " I'm from 
ould Ireland. If thou must fight, I'm the man for 
thee. Thou hadst better let that poor fellow alone. 
I'm a dale stouter than he is ; and sure it would be 
braver to fight me." The man thus accosted looked 
at him with surprise, for an instant, then burst out 
laughing, threw his coat across his arm, and walked 

Another time, when he found two Irishmen quar- 
relling, he stepped up and inquired what was the 
matter. "He's got my prayer-book," exclaimed one 
of them ; "and I'll give him a bating for it ; by St. 
Patrick, I will." "Let me give thee a piece of ad- 
vice," said Friend Hopper. "It's a very hot day, 
and bating is warm work. I'm thinking thou had'st 
better put it off till the cool o' the morning." The. 
men, of course, became cooler before they had done 
listening to this playful remonstrance. 

Once, when he was travelling in the stage, they 
passed a number of Irishmen with cart-loads of 


stones, to mend the road. Friend Hopper suggested 
to the driver that he had better ask them to remove 
a very large stone, which lay directly in the way 
and seemed dangerous. "It will be of no use if I 
do," replied the driver. "They'll only curse me, 
and tell me to go round the old road, over the hill ; 
for the fact is, this road is not fairly opened to the 
public yet." Friend Hopper jumped out, and asked 
if they would turn that big stone aside. "And sure 
ye've no business here at all," they replied. "Ye 
may jist go round by the ould road." "Och !" said 
Friend Hopper, " and is this the way I'm trated by 
my coontryman ? I'm from Ireland meself; and 
sure I did'nt expect to be trated so by my coontry- 
men in a strange coontry." 

"And are ye from ould Ireland?" inquired they. 

"Indade I am," he replied. 

"And what part may ye be from?" said they. 

"From Mount Mellick, Queen's County," rejoined 
he ; and he began to talk familiarly about the priest 
and the doctor there, till he got the laborers into a 
real good humor, and they removed the stone with 
the utmost alacrity. The passengers in the stage 
listened to this conversation, and supposed that he 
was in reality an Irish Quaker. When he returned 
to them and explained the joke, they had a hearty 
laugh over his powers of mimicry. 

His 1 tricks with children were innumerable. They 


would often be lying in wait for him in the street ; 
and if he passed without noticing them, they would 
sometimes pull at the skirts of his coat, to obtain the 
customary attention. Occasionally, he would ob- 
serve a little troop staring at him, attracted by the 
singularity of his costume. Then, he would stop, 
face about, stretch out his leg, and say, " Come now, 
boys ! Come, and take a good look ! " It was his 
delight to steal up behind them, and tickle their 
necks, while he made a loud squealing noise. The 
children, supposing some animal had set upon them, 
would jump as if they had been shot. And how he 
would laugh ! When he met a boy with dirty face 
or hands, he would stop him, and inquire if he ever 
studied chemistry. The boy, with a wondering 
stare, would answer, ''No." "Well then, I will 
teach thee how to perform a curious chemical ex- 
periment," said Friend Hopper. "Go home, take a 
piece of soap, put it in water, and rub it briskly on 
thy hands and face. Thou hast no idea what a 
beautiful froth it will make, and how much whiter 
thy skin will be. That's a chemical experiment. I 
advise thee to try it." 

The character of his wife was extremely modest 
and reserved ; and he took mischievous pleasure in 
telling strangers the story of their courtship in a way 
that made her blush. "Dost thou know what Han- 
nah answered, when I asked if she would marry 


me?" said he. "I will tell thee how it was. I 
was walking home with her one evening, soon after 
the death of her mother, and I mentioned to her that 
as she was alone now, I supposed she intended to 
make some change in her mode of living. When 
she said yes, I told her I had been thinking it would 
be very pleasant to have her come and live with me. 
'That would suit me exactly,' said she. This 
prompt reply made me suppose she might not have 
understood my meaning ; and I explained that I 
wanted to have her become a member of my family ; 
but she replied again, ' There is nothing I should 
like better.'" 

The real fact was, the quiet and timid Hannah 
Attmore was not dreaming of such a thing as a pro- 
posal of marriage. She supposed he spoke of re- 
ceiving her as a boarder in his family. When she 
at last perceived his meaning, she slipped her arm 
out of his very quickly, and was too much confused 
to utter a word. But it amused him to represent 
that she seized the opportunity the moment it was 

There was one of the anti-slavery agents who did 
everything in a dashing, wholesale style, and was 
very apt to give peremptory orders. One day he 
wrote a letter on business, to which the following 
postscript was appended : " Give the hands at your 
office a tremendous blowing up. They need it." 


Friend Hopper briefly replied : "According to thy 
orders, I have given the hands at our office a tre- 
mendous blowing up. They want to know what it 
is for. Please inform me by return of mail." 

When the Prison Association of New- York pe- 
titioned to be incorporated, he went to Albany on 
business therewith connected. He was then a stran- 
ger at the seat of government, though they after- 
ward came to know him well. When he was seated 
in the senate-chamber, a man came to him and told 
him to take off his hat. He replied, "I had rather 
not. I am accustomed to keep it on." 

"But it is contrary to the rules," rejoined the offi- 
cer. "I am ordered to turn out any man who refu- 
ses to uncover his head." 

The Quaker quietly responded, " Very well, friend, 
obey thy orders." 

"Then, will you please to walk out, sir?" said the 

"No," replied Friend Hopper. "Didst thou not 
tell me thou wert ordered to turn me out?" Dost 
thou suppose I am going to do thy duty for thee ? " 

The officer looked embarrassed, and said, half 
smiling, "But how am I to get you out ?" 

"Carry me out, to be sure," rejoined Friend Hop- 
per. " I see no other way." 

The officer went and whispered to the Speaker, 


who glanced at the noble-looking old gentleman, 
and advised that he should be let alone. 

Sometimes his jests conveyed cutting sarcasms. 
One day, when he was riding in an omnibus, he 
opened a port-monnaie lined with red. A man with 
very flaming visage, who was somewhat intoxicated, 
and therefore very much inclined to be talkative, 
said, "Ah, that is a very gay pocket-book for a Qua- 
ker to carry." 

"Yes, it is very red," replied Friend Hopper; 
"but is not so red as thy nose," The passengers all 
smiled, and the man seized the first opportunity to 
make his escape. 

A poor woman once entered an omnibus, w T hich 
was nearly full, and stood waiting for some one to 
make room. A proud-looking lady sat near Friend 
Hopper, and he asked her to move a little, to ac- 
commodate the new comer. But she looked very 
glum, and remained motionless. After examining 
her countenance for an instant, he said, "If thy face 
often looks so, I should n't like to have thee for a 
neighbor." The passengers exchanged smiles at this 
rebuke, and the lady frowned still more deeply. 

One of the jury in the Darg case was "a son of 
Abraham," rather conspicuous for his prejudice 
against colored people. Some time after the pro- 
ceedings were dropped, Friend Hopper happened to 
meet him, and entered into conversation on the sub- 


ject. The Jew was very bitter against "that ras- 
cally thief, Tom Hughes." "It does not become 
thee to be so very severe," said Friend Hopper ; "for 
thy ancestors were slaves in Egypt, and went off 
with the gold and silver jewels they borrowed of 
their masters." 

One day he met several of the Society of Friends, 
whom he had not seen for some time. Among them 
was an Orthodox Friend, who was rather stiff in his 
manners. The others shook hands with Isaac ; but 
when he approached "the Orthodox," he merely 
held out his finger. 

"Why dost thou offer me thy finger?" said he. 

"I don't allow people of certain principles to get 
very deep hold of me," was the cold reply. 

"Thou needest have no uneasiness on that score," 
rejoined Friend Hopper; "for there never was any- 
thing deep in thee to get hold of? 

The sense of justice, so conspicuous in boyhood, 
always remained a distinguishing trait in his charac- 
ter. Once, after riding half a mile, he perceived 
that he had got into the wrong omnibus. When he 
jumped out, the driver called for pay ; but he an- 
swered, "I don't owe thee anything. I've been car- 
ried the wrong way." This troubled him afterward, 
when he considered that he had used the carriage 
and horses, and that the mistake was his own fault. 
He kept on the look-out for the driver, but did not 


happen to see him again, until several weeks after- 
ward. He called to him to stop, and paid the six- 

"Why, you refused to pay me, when I asked 
you," said the driver. 

"I know I did," he replied; "but I repented of it 
afterward. I was in a hurry then, and I did not re- 
flect that the mistake was my fault, not thine ; and 
that I ought to pay for riding half a mile with thy 
horses, though they did carry me the wrong way." 
The man laughed, and said he didn't often meet 
with such conscientious passengers. 

The tenacity of the old gentleman's memory was 
truly remarkable. He often repeated letters, which 
he had written or received twenty years before on 
some memorable occasion ; and if opportunity oc- 
curred to compare them with the originals, it would 
be found that he had scarcely varied a word. He 
always maintained that he could distinctly remember 
some things, which happened before he was two 
years old. One day, when his parents were absent, 
and Polly was busy about her work, he sat bolstered 
up in his cradle, when a sudden gust of wind blew a 
large piece of paper through the entry. To his un- 
educated senses, it seemed to be a living creature, 
and he screamed violently. It was several hours 
before he recovered from his extreme terror. When 
his parents returned, he tried to make them under- 


stand how a strange thing- had come into the house, 
and run, and jumped, and made a noise. But his 
lisping language was so very imperfect, that they 
were unable to conjecture what had so frightened 
him. For a long time after, he would break out into 
sudden screams, whenever the remembrance came 
over hjjn. At seventy-five years old, he told me he 
remembered exactly how the paper then appeared to 
him, and what sensations of terror it excited in his 
infant breast. 

He had a large old-fashioned cow-bell, which was 
always rung to summon the family to their meals. 
He resisted having one of more modern construction, 
because he said that pleasantly reminded him of the 
time when he was a boy, and used to drive the cows 
to pasture. Sometimes, he rang it much longer 
than was necessary to summon the household. On 
such occasions, I often observed him smiling while 
he stood shaking the bell ; and he would say, "I am 
thinking how Polly looked, when the cow kicked 
her over; milk-pail and all. I can see it just as 
if it happened yesterday. O, what fun it was !" 

He often spoke of the first slave whose escape he 
managed, in the days of his apprenticeship. He 
was wont to exclaim, "How well I remember the 
anxious, imploring look that poor fellow gave me, 
when I told him I would be his friend ! It rises up 


before me now. If I were a uainter, I could show it 
to thee." 

But clearly above all other things, did he remem- 
ber every look and tone of his beloved Sarah ; even 
in the days when they trudged to school together, 
hand in hand. The recollection of this first love, 
closely intertwined with his first religious impres- 
sions, was the only flowery spot of romance in the 
old gentleman's very practical character. When he 
was seventy years of age, he showed me a piece of 
writing she had copied for him, when she was a girl 
of fourteen. It was preserved in the self-same en- 
velope, in which she sent it, and pinned with the 
same pin, long since blackened by age. I said, " Be 
careful not to lose that pin." 

"Lose it!" he exclaimed. ''No money could 
tempt me to part with it. I loved the very ground 
she trod upon." 

He was never weary of eulogizing her comely 
looks, beautiful manners, sound principles, and sen- 
sible conversation. The w r orthy companion of his 
later life never seemed troubled by such remarks. 
She not only "listened to a sister's praises with un- 
wounded ear," but often added a heartfelt tribute to 
the virtues of her departed friend. 

It is very common for old people to grow careless 
about their personal appearance, and their style of 


conversation ; but Friend Hopper was remarkably 
free from such faults. He was exceedingly pure in 
his mind, and in his personal habits. He never allud- 
ed to any subject that was unclean, never made 
any indelicate remark, or used any unseemly expres- 
sion. There was never the slightest occasion for 
young people to feel uneasy concerning what he 
might say. However lively his mood might be, his 
fun was always sure to be restrained by the nicest 
sense of natural propriety. He shaved, and took a 
cold plunge-bath every day. Not a particle of mud 
or dust was allowed to remain upon his garments. 
He always insisted on blacking- his own shoes ; for 
it was one of his principles not to be waited upon, 
while he was well enough to wait upon himself. 
They were always as polished as japan ; and every 
Saturday night, his silver buckles were made as 
bright as a new dollar, in readiness to go to meeting 
the next day. His dress was precisely like that worn 
by William Penn. At the time I knew him, I be- 
lieve he was the only Quaker in the country, who 
had not departed from that model in the slightest 
degree. It was in fact the dress of all English gen- 
tlemen, in King Charles's time ; and the only pecu- 
liarity of William Penn was, that he wore it without 
embroidery or ornament of any kind, for the purpose 
of protesting against the extravagance of the fash- 


ionable world. Therefore, the spirit of his intention 
and that of other early Friends, would be preserved 
by wearing dress cut according to the prevailing 
mode, but of plain materials, and entirely unorna- 
mented. However, Friend Hopper was attached to 
the ancient costume from early association, and he 
could not quite banish the idea that any change in it 
would be a degree of conformity to the fashions ol 
the world. The long stockings, and small clothes 
buckled at the knee, were well adapted to his finely 
formed limbs ; and certainly he and his lady- like 
Hannah, in their quaint garb of the olden time, 
formed a very agreeable picture. 

He had no peculiarities with regard to eating or 
drinking. He always followed the old-fashioned 
substantial mode of living, to which he had been ac- 
customed in youth, and of which moderation in all 
things was the rule. For luxuries he had no taste. 
He thought very little about his food ; but when it 
was before him, he ate with the vigorous appetite 
natural to strong health and very active habits. 
When his health failed for a time in Philadelphia, 
and he seemed wasting away to a shadow, his physi- 
cian recommended tobacco. He found great benefit 
from it, and in consequence of the habit then formed 
he became an inveterate smoker, and continued so 
till he was past seventy years old. 


Being out of health for a short time, at that pe- 
riod, the doctor told him he thought smoking was not 
good for his complaint. He accordingly discontinued 
the practice, and formed a resolution not to renew 
it. When he recovered, it cost him a good deal of 
physical annoyance to conquer the long-settled habit ; 
but he had sufficient strength of mind to persevere 
in the difficult task, and he never again used tobacco 
in any form. Speaking of this to his son Edward, 
he said, "The fact is, whoever cures himself of any 
selfish indulgence, becomes a better man. It may 
seem strange that I should set out to improve at my 
age ; but better late than never." 

He was eminently domestic in his character. 
Perhaps no man ever lived, who better enjoyed 
staying at home. He loved to invite his grand- 
children, and write them pleasant little notes about 
the squirrel-pie, or some other rarity, which he had 
in preparation for tliem. He seldom went out of his 
own family circle, except on urgent business, or to 
attend to some call of humanity. He was always 
very attentive in waiting upon his wife to meeting, 
or elsewhere, and spent a large portion of his even- 
ings in reading to her from the newspapers, or some 
book of Travels, or the writings of early Friends. 
No man in the country had such a complete Quaker 
library. He contrived to pick up every rare old 


volume connected with the history of his sect. He 
had a wonderful fondness and reverence for many of 
those books. They seemed to stand to him in the 
place of old religious friends, who had parted from 
his side in the journey of life. There, at least, he 
found Quakerism that had not degenerated ; that 
breathed the same spirit as of yore. 

I presume that his religious opinions resembled 
those of Elias Hicks. But 1 judged so mainly from 
incidental remarks ; for he regarded doctrines as of 
small importance, and considered theology an un- 
profitable topic of conversation. Practical righteous- 
ness, manifested in the daily affairs of life, was in 
his view the sum and substance of religion. The 
doctrine of the Atonement never commended itself 
to his reason, and his sense of justice was disturbed 
by the idea of the innocent suffering for the guilty. 
He moreover thought it had a pernicious tendency 
for men to rely on an abstract article of faith, to 
save them from their sins. With the stern and 
gloomy sects, who are peculiarly attracted by the 
character of Deity as delineated in the Old Testa- 
ment, he had no sympathy. The Infinite One was 
ever present to his mind, as a loving Father to all 
his children, whether they happened to call him 
by the name of Brama, Jehovah, God, or Allah. 

He was strongly attached to the forms of Qua- 



kerism, as well as to the principles. It troubled 
him, when some of his children changed their mode 
of dress, and ceased to say thee and thou. He 
groaned when one of his daughters appeared before 
him with a black velvet bonnet, though it was ex- 
ceedingly simple in construction, and unornamented 
by feather or ribbon. She was prepared for this 
reception, and tried to reconcile him to the innova- 
tion by representing that a white or drab-colored 
silk bonnet showed every stain, and was therefore 
very uneconomical for a person of active habits. 
"Thy good mother was a very energetic woman," 
he replied ; "but she found no difficulty in keeping 
her white bonnet as nice as a new pin." His daugh- 
ter urged that it required a great deal of trouble to 
keep it so ; and that she did not think dress was 
worth so much trouble. But his groan was only 
softened into a sigh. The fashion of the bonnet his 
Sarah had worn, in that beloved old meeting-house 
at Woodbury, was consecrated in his memory ; and 
to his mind, the outward type also stood for an in- 
ward principle. I used to tell him that I found 
something truly grand in the original motive for 
saying thee and thou ; but it seemed to me that it 
had degenerated into a mere hereditary habit, since 
the custom of applying you exclusively to superiors 
had vanished from the English language. He ad- 
mitted the force of this argument ; but he deprecated 


a departure from their old forms, because he con- 
sidered it useful, especially to the young, to carry 
the cross of being marked and set apart from the 
world. But though he was thus strict in what he 
required of those who had been educated as Qua- 
kers, he placed no barrier between himself and 
people of other sects. He loved a righteous man, 
and sympathized with an unfortunate one, without 
reference to his denomination. In fact, many of his 
warmest and dearest friends were not members of his 
own religious society. 

Early in life he formed an unfavorable opinion of 
the effect of capital punishment. His uncle Tatum 
considered it a useful moral lesson to take all his 
apprentices to hear the tragedy of George Barnwell, 
and to witness public executions. On one of these 
occasions, he saw five men hung at once. His 
habits of shrewd observation soon led him to con- 
clude that such spectacles generally had a very har- 
dening and bad influence on those who witnessed 
them, or heard them much talked about. In riper 
years, his mind was deeply interested in the subject, 
and he read and reflected upon it a great deal. The 
result of his investigations was a settled conviction 
that executions did not tend to diminish crime, but 
rather to increase it, by their demoralizing effect on 
the community. He regarded them with abhor- 



rence, as a barbarous custom, entirely out of place 
in a civilized country and a Christian age. 

Concerning the rights of women, he scarcely 
needed any new light from modern theories ; for, as 
a Quaker, he had been early accustomed to practical 
equality between men and women in all the affairs 
of the Society. He had always been in the habit of 
listening to them as preachers, and of meeting them 
on committees with men, for education, for the care 
of the poor, for missions to the Indians, and for 
financial regulations. Therefore, it never occurred to 
him that there w r as anything unseemly in a woman's 
using any gift with which God had endowed her, or 
transacting any business, which she had the ability 
to do well. 

After his removal to New-York, incidents now 
and then occurred, which formed pleasant links with 
his previous life in Philadelphia. Sometimes slaves, 
whom he had rescued many years before, or convicts, 
whom he had encouraged to lead a better life, called 
to see him and express their gratitude. Sometimes 
their children came to bless him. There was one 
old colored woman, who never could meet him with- 
out embracing him. Although these demonstrations 
were not always convenient, and did not partake of 
the quiet character of Quaker discipline, he would 
never say anything to repress the overflowings of 
her warm old heart. As one of his sons passed 


through Bond-street, he saw an old colored man 
rubbing his knees, and making the most lively ges- 
ticulations of delight. Being asked what was the 
matter, he pointed across the street, and exclaimed, 
"0, if I was only sure that was Friend Hopper of 
Philadelphia ! If I was only sure /" When told 
that he was not mistaken, he rushed up to the old 
gentleman, threw his arms about his neck, and 
hugged him. 

When I told him of Julia Pell, a colored Metho- 
dist preacher, whose fervid untutored eloquence had 
produced an exciting effect on my mind, he invited 
her to come and take tea with him. In the course 
of conversation, he discovered that she was the 
daughter of Zeke, the slave who outwitted his pur- 
chaser ; as described in the preceding narratives. It 
was quite an interesting event in her life to meet 
with the man who had written her father's manumis- 
sion papers, while she was in her infancy. When 
the parting hour came, she said she felt moved to 
pray ; and dropping on her knees, she poured forth 
a brief but very earnest prayer, at the close of 
which she said : "0 Lord, I beseech thee to shower 
down blessings on that good old man, whom thou 
hast raised up to do such a blessed work for my 
down-trodden people." 

Friend Hopper's fund of anecdotes, especially with 

regard to colored people, was almost inexhaustible. 


He related them with so much animation, that he 
was constantly called upon to repeat them, both at 
public meetings and in private conversation ; and 
they never failed to excite lively interest. Every 
stranger, who was introduced to him, tried to draw 
him out ; and it was an easy matter ; for he loved to 
oblige people, and it is always pleasant for an old 
soldier to fight his battles over again. In this readi- 
ness to recount his own exploits, there was nothing 
that seemed like silly or obtrusive vanity. It often 
reminded me of the following just remark in the 
Westminster Review, applied to Jeremy Bentham : 
"The very egotism in which he occasionally indulged 
was a manifestation of a want of self-thought. This 
unpopular failing is, after all, one of the characteris- 
tics of a natural and simple mind. It requires much 
thought about one's self to avoid speaking of one's 

It has been already mentioned that Friend Hop- 
per passed through a fiery trial in his own religious 
society, during the progress of the schism produced 
by the preaching of Elias Hicks. Fourteen years 
had elapsed since the separation. The "Hicksite" 
branch had become an established and respectable 
sect. In cities, many of them were largely engaged 
in Southern trade. I have heard it stated that mil- 
lions of money were thus invested. They retained 
sympathy with the theological opinions of Elias 


Hicks, but his rousing remonstrances against slavery- 
would have been generally very unwelcome to their 
ears. They cherished the names of Anthony Bene- 
zet, John Woolman, and a host of other departed 
worthies, whose labors in behalf of the colored peo- 
ple reflected honor on their Society. But where was 
the need of being so active in the cause, as Isaac T. 
Hopper was, and always had been ? "The way did 
not open" for them to be so active ; and why should 
his zeal rebuke their listlessness ? Was it friendly, 
was it respectful in him, to do more than his reli- 
gious Society thought it necessary to do ? It is as- 
tonishing how T troublesome a living soul proves to be, 
when they try to shut it up within the narrow limits 
of a drowsy sect ! 

I had a friend in Boston, whose wealthy and aris- 
tocratic parents brought him up according to the 
most approved model of genteel religion. He learn- 
ed the story of the Good Samaritan, and was early 
accustomed to hear eulogies pronounced on the holy 
Jesus, w 7 ho loved the poor, and associated with the 
despised. When the boy became a man he joined 
the Anti-Slavery Society, a # nd openly avowed that 
he regarded Africans as brethren of the great human 
family. His relatives were grieved to see him pur- 
suing such an injudicious and disrespectable course. 
Whereupon, a witty reformer remarked, " They took 
most commendable pains to present Jesus and the 


Good Samaritan as models of character, but they 
were surprised to find that he had taken them at 
their word." 

The case was somewhat similar with Isaac T. 
Hopper. He had imbibed anti-slavery principles in 
full flood at the fountain of Quakerism. Their best 
and greatest men were conspicuous as advocates of 
those principles. Children were taught to revere 
those men, and their testimonies were laid up in 
honorable preservation, to be quoted with solemn 
formality on safe occasions. Friend Hopper acted 
as if these professions were in good earnest ; and 
thereby he disturbed his sect, as my Boston friend 
troubled his family, when he made practical use ot 
their religious teaching. 

That many of the modern Quakers should be 
blinded by bales of cotton, heaped up between their 
souls and the divine light, is not remarkable ; for cot- 
ton is an impervious material. But it is a strange 
anomaly in their history that any one among them 
should have considered himself guided by the Spirit 
to undertake the especial mission of discouraging 
sympathy with the enslaved. A minister belonging 
to that branch of the Society called "Hicksites," who 
usually preached in Rose-street Meeting, New- York, 
had imbibed very strong prejudices against all modern 
reforms : and he manifested his aversion with a de- 
gree of excitement, in language, tone, and gesture, 


very unusual in that quiet sect. Those who labored 
in the cause of temperance, anti-slavery, or non-resis- 
tance, he was wont to stigmatize as "hireling lec- 
turers," "hireling book-agents," and "emissaries of 
Satan." Soon after Thomas Hughes consented 
to return to the South, in consequence of the fair 
professions of Mr. Darg, this preacher chimed in 
with the exulting tones of the pro-slavery press, by 
alluding to it in one of his public discourses as fol- 
lows. After speaking of the tendency of affliction 
to produce humility, he went on to say, "As a slave, 
who had suffered the effects of his criminal conduct, 
and been thus led to calm reflection, recently chose 
to go back with this master into slavery, and endure 
all the evils of that condition, notwithstanding his 
former experience of them, rather than stay with 
those hypocritical workers of popular righteousness 
who had interfered in his behalf. For my own part, 
I commend his choice. I had a thousand times 
rather be a slave, and spend my days with slave- 
holders, than to dwell in companionship with abo- 

The state of things among Quakers in the city of 
New-York may be inferred from the fact that this 
minister was exceedingly popular, and his style of 
preaching cordially approved by a majority of them. 
One of the editors of the Anti-Slavery Standard, at 
that time, wrote a severe, though by no means abu- 


sive article on the subject, headed "Rare Specimen 
of a Quaker Preacher." This gave great offence, 
and Isaac T. Hopper was very much blamed for it. 
He, and his son-in-law James S. Gibbons, and his 
friend Charles Marriott, then belonged to the Exe- 
cutive Committee of the Anti Slavery Society ; and 
it was assumed to be their duty to have prevented 
the publication of the sarcastic article. Charles 
Marriot was absent from the city when it was pub- 
lished, and Friend Hopper did not see it till after it 
was in print. When they urged these facts, and 
stated, moreover, that they had no right to dictate 
to the editor what he should say, or what he should 
not say, they were told that they ought to exculpate 
themselves by a public expression of their disappro- 
bation. But as they did not believe the editorial ar- 
ticle contained any mis-statement of facts, they could 
not conscientiously say any thing that would satisfy 
the friends of the preacher. It would be tedious to 
relate the difficulties that followed. There were 
visits from overseers, and prolonged sessions of com- 
mittees ; a great deal of talking with the accused, 
and still more talking about them. A strong dispo- 
sition was manifested to make capital against them 
out of the Darg Case. Robert H. Morris, who was 
presiding Judge while that case was pending, and 
afterward Mayor of New- York, had long known 
Friend Hopper, and held him in much respect. When 


he was told that some sought to cast imputations on 
his character, he was greatly surprised, and offered 
to give favorable testimony in any form that might 
be desired. J. R. Whiting, the District Attorney, 
expressed the same readiness ; and private misrepre- 
sentations were silenced by a published certificate 
from them, testifying that throughout the affair 
Friend Hopper had merely "exhibited a desire to 
procure the money for the master, and the manu- 
mission of the slave." 

The principal argument brought by Friends, against 
their members uniting with Anti-Slavery Societies, 
was that they were thus led to mix indiscriminately 
with people of other denominations, and brought into 
contact with hireling clergymen. There seemed 
some inconsistency in this objection, coming from 
the mouths of men who belonged to Rail Road Cor- 
porations, and Bank Stock Companies, and who 
mingled constantly with slaveholders in Southern 
trade ; for the early testimonies of the Society were 
quite as explicit against slavery, as against a paid 
ministry. However, those of their members who 
were abolitionists were willing to obviate this objec- 
tion, if possible. They accordingly formed an asso- 
ciation among themselves, "for the relief of those 
held in slavery, and the improvement of the free 
people of color." But when this benevolent associa- 
tion asked for the use of Rose-street Meeting-house, 


their request was not only refused, but condemned 
as disorderly. Affairs were certainly in a very sin- 
gular position. Both branches of the Society of 
Friends were entirely inert on the subject of slavery. 
Both expressed pity for the slave, but both agreed 
that "the way did. not open" for them to do any- 
thing. If individual members were thus driven to 
unite in action with other sects upon a subject which 
seemed to them very important, they were called 
disorganizers. When they tried to conciliate by 
forming an association composed of Quakers only, 
they were told that "as the Society of Friends saw 
no way to move forward in this concern, such asso- 
ciations appeared to reflect upon them " implying 
that they failed in discharging their duty as a reli- 
gious body. What could an earnest, direct charac- 
ter, like Isaac T. Hopper, do in the midst of a sect 
thus situated? He proceeded as he always did. 
He walked straight forward in what seemed to him 
the path of duty, and snapped all the lilliputian 
cords with which they tried to bind him. 

Being unable to obtain any apology from their of- 
fending members, the Society proceeded to adminis- 
ter its discipline. A complaint was laid before the 
Monthly Meeting of New- York, in which Isaac T. 
Hopper, James S. Gibbons, and Charles Marriott, 
were accused of "being concerned in the publication 
and support of a paper calculated to excite discord 


and disunity among Friends." Friend Hopper pub- 
lished a statement, characterised by his usual bold- 
ness, and disturbed his mind very little about the re- 
sult of their proceedings. April, 1842, he wrote 
thus, to his daughter, Sarah H. Palmer, of Philadel- 
phia: "During my late indisposition, I was induced 
to enter into a close examination of my own heart ; 
and I could not find that I stood condemned there 
for the part I have taken in the anti-slavery cause, 
which has brought upon me so much censure from 
(hose 'who know not God, nor his son Jesus Christ. 
They profess that they know God, but in works they 
deny him.' I have not yet given up our Society as 
lost. I still live in the faith that it will see better 
days, I often remember the testimony borne by 
that devoted and dignified servant of the Lord, Ma- 
ry Ritlgeway ; which was to this import: 'The 
Lord, in his infinite wisdom and mercy, has gathered 
this Society to be a people, and has placed his name 
among them ; and He has given them noble testimo- 
nies to hold up to the nations ; but if they prove un- 
faithful, those testimonies will be given unto others, 
who may be compared to the stones of the street ; 
and they will wear the crowns that were intended for 
this people, who will be cast out, as salt that has 
lost its savor.' We may plume ourselves upon be- 
ing the children of Abraham, but in the days of sol- 
emn inquisition, which surely will come, it will only 


add to our condemnation, because we have not done 
the xoorks of Abraham." 

"The Yearly Meeting will soon be upon us, when 
we shall have a final decision in our cases. I feel 
perfectly resigned to the result, be it what it may. 
Indeed, I have sometimes thought I should be happi- 
er out of the Society than in it. I should feel more 
at liberty to ' cry aloud and spare not, to lift up my 
voice like a trumpet, and show the people their 
transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins,' I 
believe no greater benefit could be conferred on the 
Society. There are yet many in it who see and de- 
plore its departure from primitive uprightness, but 
who are afraid to come out as they ought against ihe 
evils that prevail in it." 

An aged and very worthy Friend in Philadelphia, 
named Robert Moore, who deeply sympathized with 
the wrongs of colored people, wrote to Friend Hop- 
per as follows : "From 1822 to 1827, we had many 
interesting conversations in thy little front room, 
respecting the distracted state of our Society, and 
the efforts made to sustain our much beloved brother 
Elias Hicks, against those who were anxious for his 
downfall and excommunication. This great excite- 
ment grew hotter till the separation in 1827; we 
not being able to endure any longer the intolerance 
of the party in power. Well, it appears that the 
persecuted have now, in their turn, become persecu- 


tors ; and those who went through the fire aforetime 
are devoted to pass through it again. But, my dear 
friend, I hope thou and all who are doomed to suffer 
for conscience sake, will stand firm, and not deviate 
one inch from what you believe to be your duty. 
They may cast you out of the synagogue, which I 
fear has become so corrupt that a seat among them 
has ceased to be an honor, or in any way desirable ; 
but you will pass through the furnace unscathed. 
Not a hair of your heads will be singed." 

The ecclesiastical proceedings in this case were 
kept pending more than a year, I think ; being car- 
ried from the Monthly Meeting to the Quarterly, and 
thence to the Yearly Meeting. Thirty-six Friends 
wore appointed a committee in the Yearly Meeting. 
They had six sessions, and finally reported that, af- 
ter patient deliberation, they found eighteen of their 
number in favor of confirming the decision of the 
Quarterly Meeting ; fifteen for reversing it ; and 
three who declined giving any judgment in the case. 
Upon this report, the Yearly Meeting confirmed the 
decision of the inferior tribunals ; and Isaac T. Hop- 
per, James S. Gibbons, and Charles Marriott were 
excommunicated; in Quaker phrase, disowned. 

I thus expressed myself at the time ; and the lapse 
of ten years has not changed my view of the case : 
Excommunication for such causes will cut off from 
the Society their truest, purest, and tenderest spirits. 


There is Isaac T. Hopper, whose life has been one 
long chapter of benevolence, an unblotted record of 
fair integrity. A man so exclusive in his religious 
attachments that the principles of his Society are to 
his mind identical with Christianity, and its minutest 
forms sacred from innovation. A man whose name 
is first mentioned wherever Quakerism is praised, or 
benevolence to the slave approved. 

There is Charles Marriott, likewise widely known, 
and of high standing in the Society ; mild as a lamb, 
and tender-hearted as a child ; one to whom conflict 
w T ith others is peculiarly painful, but who nevertheless, 
when principles are at stake, can say, with the bold- 
hearted Luther, " God help me ! I cannot otherwise." 

There is James S. Gibbons, a young man, and 
therefore less known ; but wherever known, prized 
for his extreme kindness of heart, his steadfast hon- 
esty of purpose, his undisguised sincerity, and his 
unflinching adherence to his own convictions of duty. 
A Society has need to be very rich in moral excel- 
lence, that can afford to throw away three such 

Protests and disclaimers against the disownment 
oi these worthy men came from several parts of the 
country, signed by Friends of high character ; and 
many private letters were addressed to them, ex- 
pressive of sympathy and approbation. Friend Hop- 
per was always grateful for such marks of respect 


and friendship ; bat his own conscience would have 
sustained him without such aid. He had long felt 
a deep sadness whenever he was reminded of the 
spiritual separation between him and the religious 
Society, whose preachers had exerted such salutary 
influence on his youthful character ; but the external 
separation was of no consequence. He attended 
meeting constantly, as he had ever done, and took 
his seat on the bench under the preachers' gallery, 
facing the audience, where he had always been ac- 
customed to sit, when he was an honored member of 
the Society. Charles Marriott, who was by tempera- 
ment a much meeker man, said to him one day, 
"The overseers have called upon me, to represent 
the propriety of my taking another seat, under 
existing circumstances. I expect they will call upon 
thee, to give the same advice." 

" I expect they worCt" was Isaac's laconic reply ; 
and they never did. 

His daughter, Abby H. Gibbons, soon after re- 
signed membership in the Monthly Meeting of New- 
York for herself and her children ; and his sons 
Josiah and John did the same. The grounds stated 
were that "the meeting had manifestly departed 
from the original principles and testimonies of the 
Society of Friends ; that the plainest principles of 
civil and religious freedom had been violated in the 
whole proceedings in relation to their father; and 


that the overseers had prepared an official document 
calculated to produce false impressions with regard 
to him ; accusing him of 'grossly reproachful con- 
duct' in the well known Darg Case ; whereas there 
was abundant evidence before the public that his 
proceedings in that case w r ere influenced by the pu- 
rest and most disinterested motives." 

The Philadelphia Ledger, after stating that the 
Society of Friends in New T -York had disowned some 
of their prominent members for being connected, 
directly or indirectly, with an Abolition Journal, 
added the following remark : " This seems rather 
singular ; for we had supposed that Friends were 
favorably inclined tow T ard the abolition of slavery. 
But many of their members are highly respectable 
merchants, extensively engaged in Southern trade. 
We are informed that they are determined to dis- 
countenance all pragmatic interference w r ith the legal 
and constitutional rights of their brethren at the 
South. The Quakers have always been distin- 
guished for minding their own business, and per- 
mitting others to attend to theirs. They w r ould be 
the last people to meddle w 7 ith the rights of pro- 

The Boston Times quoted the paragraph from 
the Philadelphia Ledger, with the additional remark, 
"There is no logician like money." 

Whether Friends in New- York felt flattered by 


these eulogiums, I know not ; but they appear to 
have been well deserved. 

In 1842 and the year following, Friend Hopper 
travelled more than usual. In August '42, he visit- 
ed his native place, after an absence of twenty years. 
He and his wife were accompanied from Philadel- 
phia by his son Edward and his daughter Sarah H. 
Palmer. Of course, the haunts of his boyhood had 
undergone many changes. Panther's Bridge had 
disappeared, and Rabbit Swamp and Turkey Cause- 
way no longer looked like the same places. He 
visited his father's house, then occupied by stran- 
gers, and found the ruins of his great-grandfather's 
dwelling. Down by the pleasant old creek, shaded 
with large walnut trees and cedars, stood the tombs 
of many of his relatives ; and at Woodbury were 
the graves of his father and mother, and the parents 
of his wife. Every spot had something interesting 
to say of the past. His eyes brightened, and his 
tongue became voluble with a thousand memories. 
Had I been present to listen to him then, I should 
doubtless have been enabled to add considerably to 
my stock of early anecdotes. He seemed to have 
brought away from this visit a peculiarly vivid recol- 
lection of "poor crazy Joe Gibson." This demented 
being was sometimes easily controlled, and willing 
to be useful ; at other times, he was perfectly furious 
and ungovernable. Few people knew how to man- 


age him ; but Isaac's parents acquired great influence 
over him by their uniform system of forbearance and 
tenderness ; their own good sense and benevolence 
having suggested the ideas which regulate the treat- 
ment of insanity at the present period. The day 
spent in Woodbury and its vicinity was a bright spot 
in Friend Hopper's life, to which he always reverted 
with a kind of saddened pleasure. The heat of the 
season had been tempered by floating clouds, and 
when they returned to Philadelphia, there was a 
faint rainbow in the east. He looked lovingly upon 
it, and said, "These clouds seem to have followed 
us all day, on purpose to make everything more 

In the course of the same month he accepted an 
invitation to attend the Anti-Slavery Convention at 
Norristown, Pennsylvania. His appearance there 
was quite an event. Many friends of the cause, 
who were strangers to him, were curious to obtain a 
sight of him, and to hear him address the meeting. 
Charles C. Burleigh, in an eloquent letter to the 
Convention, says : " I am glad to hear that Isaac T. 
Hopper is to be present. That tried old veteran, 
with his eye undimmed, his natural strength unabat- 
ed, his resolute look, and calm determined manner, 
before which the blustering kidnapper, and the self- 
important oppressor have so often quailed ! With 
the scars of a hundred battles, and the wreaths of an 


hundred victories in this glorious warfare. With 
his example of half a century's active service in this 
holy cause, and his still faithful adherence to it, 
through evil as well as good report, and in the face 
of opposition as bitter as sectarian bigotry can stir 
up. Persecution cannot bow the head, which seven- 
ty winters could not blanch, nor the terrors of ex- 
communication chill the heart, in which age could 
not freeze the kindly flow of w T arm philanthropy." 

I think it was not long after this excursion that his 
sister Sarah came from Maryland to visit him. She 
was a pleasant, sensible matron, much respected by 
all who knew her. I noted down at the time several 
anecdotes of childhood and youth, which bubbled up 
in the course of conversations between her and her 
brother. In her character the hereditary trait of be- 
nevolence was manifested in a form somewhat differ- 
ent from his. She had no children of her own, but 
she brought up, on her husband's farm, nineteen poor 
boys and girls, and gave most of them a trade. 
Nearly all of them turned out well. 

In the winters of 1842 and '43, Friend Hopper 
complied with urgent invitations to visit the Anti- 
Slavery Fair, in Boston ; and seldom has a warmer 
welcome been given to any man. As soon as he ap- 
peared in Amory Hall, he w T as always surrounded 
by a circle of lively girls attracted by his frank man- 
ners, his thousand little pleasantries, and his keen 


enjoyment of young society. A friend of mine used 
to say that when she saw them clustering round 
him, in furs and feathered bonnets, listening to his 
words so attentively, she often thought it would 
make as fine a picture as William Penn explaining 
his treaty to the Indians. 

Ellis Gray Loring in a letter to me, says : "We 
greatly enjoyed Friend Hopper's visit. You cannot 
conceive how everybody was delighted with him ; 
particularly all our gay young set ; James Russell 
Lowell, William W. Story, and the like. The old 
gentleman seemed very happy; receiving from all 
hands evidence of the true respect in which he is 
held." Mrs. Loring, writing to his son John, says : 
"We have had a most delightful visit from your fa- 
ther. Our respect, wonder, and love for him in- 
creased daily. I am sure he must have received 
some pleasure, he bestowed so much. We feel his 
friendship to be a great acquisition." 

Samuel J. May wrote to me : "I cannot tell you 
how much I was charmed by my interview with 
Friend Hopper. To me, it was worth more than all 
the Fair beside. Give my most affectionate respects 
to him. He very kindly invited me to make his 
house my home when I next come to New- York ; 
and I am impatient for the time to arrive, that I may 
accept his invitation." 

Edmund Quincy, writing to Friend Hopper's 


daughter, Mrs. Gibbons, says: "You cannot thinlc 
how glad we were to see the dear old man. He 
spent a night with me, to my great contentment, and 
that of my wife ; and to the no small edification of 
our little boy, to whom breeches and buckles were a 
great curiosity. My Irish gardener looked at them 
with reverence ; having probably seen nothing so 
aristocratic, since he left the old country. I love 
those relics of past time. The Quakers were not so 
much out, when they censured their members for 
turning sans culottes. Think of Isaac T. Hopper in 
a pair of pantaloons strapped under his feet ! There 
is heresy in the very idea. But, costume apart, we 
wore as glad to see Father Hopper, as if he had 
been our real father in the flesh. I hope he had a 
right good time. If he had not, I am sure it was 
not for want of being made much of. I trust his 
visits to Boston will grow into one of our domestic 

In the old gentleman's account of his visit to the 
Fair, he says : "I was struck with the extreme pro- 
priety with which everything was conducted, and 
with the universal harmony and good-will that pre- 
vailed among the numerous friends of the cause, who 
had collected from all parts of the old Common- 
wealth, on this interesting occasion. Many of the 
most distinguished citizens were purchasers, and ap- 
peared highly gratified, though not connected with 


the anti-slavery cause. Lord Morpeth, late Lord 
Lieutenant of Ireland, attended frequently, made 
some presents to the Fair, and purchased several ar- 
ticles. 1 would call him by his christian name, if I 
knew it; for it is plain enough that he was not bap- 
tized, l Lord'. His manners were extremely friendly 
and agreeable, and he expressed himself highly 
pleased with the exhibition. I had an interesting 
conversation with him on the subject of slavery ; 
particularly in relation to the Amistad captives, and 
the case of the Creole." 

"I had an opportunity to make a valuable addition 
to my collection of the works of ancient Friends. 
On the book-table, I found that rare old volume, 
'The Way Cast Up,' written by George Keith, 
while in unity with the Society. I took it home 
with me to my chamber ; and as I glanced over it, 
my mind was moved to a painful retrospect of the 
Society of Friends in its original state, when its 
members were at liberty to follow the light, as mani- 
fested to them in the silence and secrecy of their 
own souls. I seemed to see them entering places 
appointed for worship by various professors, and 
there testifying against idolatry, superstition, and a 
mercenary priesthood. I saw them entering the 
courts, calling upon judges and lawyers to do jus- 
tice. I saw them receive contumely and abuse, as a 
reward for these acts of dedication. My imagina- 


tion followed them to loathsome dungeons, where 
many of them died a lingering death. I saw the 
blood trickling from the lacerated backs of innocent 
men and women. I saw William Robinson, Marma- 
duke Stevenson, Mary Dyer, and William Leddra, 
pass through the streets of Boston, pinioned, and 
with halters about their necks, on the way to execu- 
tion ; yet rejoicing that they were found worthy to 
suffer, even unto death, for their fidelity to Christ ; 
sustained through those last bitter moments by an 
approving conscience and the favor of God. 

"I now sec the inhabitants of that same city sur- 
passed by none on the globe, for liberality, candor, 
and benevolence. I see them taking the lead of 
very many of the descendants of the martyrs refer- 
red to, in many things, and at an immeasurable dis- 
tance. I compared the state of the Society of 
Friends in the olden time with what it now is. In 
some sections of the country, they, in their turn, 
have become persecutors. Not with dungeons, hal- 
ter, and fire ; for those modes of punishment have 
gone by ; but by ejecting their members from reli- 
gious fellowship, and defaming their characters for 
doing that which they conscientiously believe is re- 
quired at their hands ; casting out their names as 
evil-doers for honestly endeavoring to support one of 
the most dignified testimonies ever given to the So- 
ciety of Friends to hold up before a sinful world. 


These reflections pained me deeply ; for all the con- 
victions of my soul, and all my early religious recol- 
lections, bind me fast to the principles of Friends ; 
and I cannot but mourn to see how the world has 
shorn them of their strength. I spent nearly a 
sleepless night, and was baptized with my tears." 

"In the morning, my mind was in some degree re- 
assured with the hope that there are yet left, through- 
out the land, 'seven thousand in Israel, all the knees 
which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth 
which has not kissed him ;' and that among these 
shall yet 'arise judges, as at the first, and counsel- 
lors, and lawgivers, as in the beginning.' My soul 
longeth for the coming of that day, more than for 
the increase of corn, and wine, and oil." 

In the Spring of 1843, Friend Hopper visited 
Rhode Island, and Bucks County, in Pennsylvania, 
to address the people in behalf of the enslaved. He 
was accompanied by Lucinda Wilmarth, a very in- 
telligent and kind-hearted young person, who some- 
times spoke on the same subject. After she returned 
to her home in Massachusetts, she wrote as follows, 
to the venerable companion of her mission ; "Dear 
Father Hopper, I see by the papers that Samuel 
Johnson has gone home. I well remember our call 
upon him, on the second Sunday morning of our so- 
journ in that land of roses. I also remember his ra- 
diant and peaceful countenance, which told of a life 


well spent, and of calm and hopeful anticipations of 
the future. I love to dwell upon my visit to Penn- 
sylvania. I never saw happier or more lovely 
homes. Never visited dwellings where those little 
household divinities, goodness, order, and cheerful- 
ness, held more universal sway I was enabled to 
view men and things from an entirely new point of 
view. I had previously seen nothing of Quakerism, 
except in a narrow orthodox form, with which I had 
no sympathy. I was much pleased with the appa- 
rent freedom and philanthropy of the Friends I met 
there. I know not whether it w T as their peculiar ism, 
that made them so comparatively free and liberal. 
Perhaps I unconsciously assigned to their Quaker- 
ism what merely belonged to their manhood. But 
the fact is, they came nearer to realizing the ideal of 
Quakerism, associated in my mind with Fox and 
Penn, than any people I have ever seen. 

"I stopped at Providence on my way home. As 
soon as I entered Isaac Hale's door, little Alice be- 
gan to skip with joy, as she did that day when we 
returned so unexpectedly to dine ; but the next mo- 
ment, she looked down the stair-case, and exclaimed 
in a most anxious tone, 'Why did'nt Grandfather 
Hopper come ? What did you come alone for ? 
What shall I do V On mv arrival home, the first 
noisy greetings of my little brothers and sisters had 
scarcely subsided, before they began to inquire, 


'Why did'nt your other father come, too?' They 
complained that you had not written a single ' Tale 
of Oppression' for the Standard since you were here. 
But a week after, my little sister came running with 
an open newspaper in her hand, exclaiming, ' Father 
Hopper has made another story !' She has named 
her doll for your little granddaughter, Lucy Gib- 
bons, because you used to talk about her ; and every 
day she reads the book you gave her." 

Friend Hopper found great satisfaction in the pe- 
rusal of the above letter, not only on account of his 
great regard for the writer, but because many of the 
Friends in Bucks County were the delight of his 
heart. He was always telling me that if I wanted 
to see the best farms, the best Quakers, and the 
most comfortable homes in the world, I must go to 
Bucks County. In his descriptions, it was a bloom- 
ing land of peace and plenty, approaching as near 
to an earthly paradise, as could be reasonably ex- 

At the commencement of 1845, the American 
Anti-Slavery Society made some changes in their 
office at New-York, by which the duties of editor 
and treasurer, were performed by the same person ; 
consequently Friend Hopper's services were no 
longer needed. When he retired from the office 
he had held during four vears, the Society unani- 


mously voted him thanks for the fidelity with which 
he had discharged the duties entrusted to him. 

At that time, several intelligent and benevolent 
gentlemen in the city of New- York were much in- 
terested in the condition of criminals discharged 
from prisons, without money, without friends, and 
with a character so blasted, that it was exceedingly 
difficult to procure employment. However sincerely 
desirous such persons might be to lead a better life, 
it seemed almost impossible for them to carry their 
good resolutions into practice. The inconsiderate 
harshness of society forced them back into dishonest 
courses, even when it was contrary to their own 
inclinations. That this was a fruitful source of 
crime, and consequently a great increase of expense 
to the state, no one could doubt who candidly ex- 
amined the subject. To meet the wants of this 
class of sufferers, it was proposed to form a Prison 
Association, whose business it 'should be to inquire 
into individual cases, and extend such sympathy and 
assistance as circumstances required. This subject 
had occupied .Friend Hopper's mind almost as early 
as the wrongs of the slave. He attended the meet- 
ings, and felt a lively interest in the discussions, in 
which he often took part. The editor of the New- 
York Evening Mirror, alluding to one of these occa- 
sions, says : " When Mr. Hopper rose to offer some 

remarks, we thought the burst of applause which 


greeted the quaint old man, (in the very costume of 
Franklin) was a spontaneous homage to goodness ; 
and we thanked God and took courage for poor 
human nature." 

His well-known benevolence, his peculiar tact in 
managing wayward characters, his undoubted integ- 
rity, and his long experience in such matters, natu- 
rally suggested the idea that he was more suitable 
than any other person to be Agent of the Association. 
It was a situation extremely well-adapted to his 
character, and if his limited circumstances would 
have permitted, he would have been right glad to 
have discharged its duties gratuitously. He named 
three hundred dollars a year, as sufficient addition 
to his income, and the duties were performed with 
as much diligence and zeal, as if the recompence 
had been thousands. Although he was then seven- 
ty-four years old, his hand-writing was firm and 
even, and very legible. He kept a Diary of every 
day's transactions, and a Register of all the dis- 
charged convicts who applied for assistance ; with 
a monthly record of such information as could 
be obtained of their character and condition, from 
time to time. The neat and accurate manner in 
which these books were kept was really surprising 
in so old a man. The amount of walking he did, to 
attend to the business of the Association, was like- 
wise remarkable. Not one in ten thousand, who 


had lived so many years, could have endured so 
much fatigue. 

In his labors in behalf of this class of unfortunate 
people he was essentially aided by Abby H. Gibbons, 
who resided nearer to him than his other daughters, 
and who had the same affectionate zeal to sustain 
him, that she had manifested by secretly slipping a 
portion of her earnings into his pocket, in the days 
of her girlhood. She was as vigilant and active in 
behalf of the women discharged from prison, as her 
father was in behalf of the men. Through the exer- 
tions of herself and other benevolent women, an asy- 
lum for these poor outcasts, called The Home, was 
established and sustained. Friend Hopper took a 
deep interest in that institution, and frequently went 
there on Sunday evening, with his wife and daugh- 
ters, to talk with the inmates in a manner most likely 
to soothe and encourage them. They were accus- 
tomed to call him " Father Hopper," and always 
came to him for advice when they were in trouble. 

When the Prison Association petitioned to be in- 
corporated, it encountered a great deal of opposition, 
on the ground that it would be likely to interfere 
with the authority of the State over prisons. During 
two winters, Friend Hopper went to Albany fre- 
quently to sustain the measure. He commanded 
respect and attention, by the good sense of his re- 
marks, his dignified manner, and readiness of utter- 


ance. The Legislature were more inclined to have 
confidence in him, because he was known to be a 
benevolent, conscientious Quaker, entirely uncon- 
nected with party politics. In fact, the measure 
was carried mainly by the exertion of his personal 
influence. He sustained the petition of the Associa- 
tion in a speech before the Legislature, which excit- 
ed much attention, and made a deep impression on 
those who heard it. Judge Edmonds, who was one 
of the speakers on the same occasion, often alluded 
to it as a remarkable address. He said, "It elicited 
more applause, and did more to carry the end in 
view, than anything that was said by more practised 
public speakers. His eloquence was simple and di- 
rect, but most effective. If he was humorous, his 
audience were full of laughter ; if solemn, a death- 
like stillness reigned ; if pathetic, tears flowed all 
around him. He seemed unconscious of his power 
in this respect, but I have heard him many times be- 
fore large assemblies at our Anniversaries, and in the 
chapel of the State Prison, and I have been struck, 
over and over again, with the remarkable sway he 
had over the minds of those whom he addressed." 

The business of the Association made it necessary 
for Friend Hopper to visit that city many times after- 
ward. He came to be so well known there, and 
was held in such high respect, that whenever he 
made his appearance in the halls of legislation, the 


Speaker sent a messenger to invite him to take a 
seat near his own. 

He often applied to the Governor to exert his par- 
doning power, where he thought there were miti- 
gating circumstances attending the commission of a 
crime ; or where the mind and health of a prisoner 
seemed breaking down ; or where a long course of 
£Ood conduct seemed deserving of reward. When 
Governor Young had become sufficiently acquainted 
with him to form a just estimate of his character, he 
said to him, " Friend Hopper, J will pardon any con- 
vict, whom you say you conscientiously believe I 
ought to pardon. If I err at all, I prefer that it 
should be on the side of mercy. But so many cases 
press upon my attention, and it is so difficult to 
examine them all thoroughly, that it is a great relief 
to find a man in whose judgment and integrity I 
have such perfect confidence, as I have in yours.'' 
On the occasion of one of these applications for 
mercy, the following quaint correspondence passed 
between him and the Governor : 

" Esteemed Friend, 

John Young : 

Thou mayst think this mode 
of address rather too familiar ; but as it is the spon- 
taneous effusion of my heart, and entirely congenial 
with my feelings, I hope thou wilt hold me excused. 

Permit me to embrace this opportunity to con- 


gratulate thee upon thy accession to the office of 
Chief Magistrate of the State. I have confidence its 
duties will be faithfully performed. I rejoice that 
thou hast had independence enough to restore to 
liberty, and to their families, those infatuated men 
called Anti-Renters. Some, who live under the old 
dispensation, that demanded 'an eye for an eye, and 
a tooth for a tooth,' will doubtless censure this act 
of justice and mercy. But another class will be 
glad ; those who have embraced the Christian faith, 
and live under the benign influence of its spirit, 
which enjoins forgiveness of injuries. The approba- 
tion of such, accompanied with an approving con- 
science, will, I trust, more than counterbalance any 
censure that may arise on the occasion. 

The object I particularly have in view in address- 
ing thee now, is, to call thy attention to the case of 
Allen Lee, who was sentenced to twelve years' im- 
prisonment for horse-stealing, in Westchester Coun- 
ty. He has served for eleven years and two months 
of that time. It is his first offence, and he has con- 
ducted well during his confinement. His health is 
much impaired, and he has several times had a slight 
haemorrhage of the lungs. Allen's father was a regu- 
lar teamster in the army during all the revolutionary 
war. Though poor, he has always sustained a fair 
reputation. He is now ninety years old, and he is 
extremely anxious to behold the face of his son. 


Permit me, most respectfully, but earnestly, to ask 
thy early attention to this case. The old man is 
confined, to his bed, and so low, that he cannot con- 
tinue many weeks. Unless Allen is very soon re- 
leased, there is no probability that he will ever see 
him. I have no self-interested motives in this mat- 
ter, but am influenced solely by considerations of 
humanity. With sincere desires for thy health and 
happiness, I am very respectfully thy friend, 

"Isaac T. Hopper." 

Governor Young promptly replied as follows. 

"My worthy friend, Isaac T. Hopper, 

"I have often thought of thee since we last 
met. I have received thy letter ; and because thou 
hast written to me, and because I know that what 
thou writest is always truth, and that the old man, 
before he lays him down to die, may behold the face 
of his son, I will restore Allen to his kindred. When 
thou comest to Albany, I pray thee to come and see 
me. Very respectfully thy friend, John Young." 

The monitor within frequently impelled Friend 
Hopper to address the assembled convicts at Sing 
Sing, on Sunday. The officers of the establishment 
were very willing to open the way for him ; for ac- 
cording to the testimony of Mr. Harman Eldridge, 
the warden, "With all his kindness, and the en- 
couragement he was always ready to give, he was 
guarded and cautious in the extreme, that nothing 


should be said to conflict with the discipline of the 
prison." His exhortations rendered the prisoners 
more docile, and stimulated them to exertion by keep- 
ing hope alive in their hearts. On such occasions, I 
have been told that a large portion of his unhappy 
audience were frequently moved to tears ; and the 
warmth of their grateful feelings was often mani- 
fested by eagerly pressing forward to shake hands 
with him, whenever they received permission to do 
so. The friendly counsel he gave on such occasions 
sometimes produced a permanent effect on their 
characters. In a letter to his daughter Susan, he 
says: "One of these poor fellows attacked the life 
of the keeper, and I soon after had a private inter- 
view with him. He received what I said kindly, but 
declared that he could not govern his temper. He 
said he had no ill-will toward the keeper ; that what 
he did was done in a gust of passion, and he could 
not help it. I tried to convince him that he had 
power to control his temper, if he would only exer- 
cise it. A year and a half afterward, on First Day, 
after meeting, he asked permission to speak to me. 
He then told me he was convinced that what I had 
said to him was true ; for he had not given way to 
anger since I talked to him on the subject. He 
showed me many certificates from the keepers, all 
testifying to his good conduct. I hardly ever saw a 
man more changed than he is." 


I often heard my good old friend describe these 
scenes in the Prison Chapel, with much emotion. 
He used to say, the feeling- of confidence and safety 
which prevailed, was sometimes presented to his 
mind in forcible contrast with the state of things in 
Philadelphia, in 1787, as related by his worthy 
friend, Dr. William Rogers, who was on the commit- 
tee of the first Society formed in this country "for 
relieving the. miseries of public prisons." That 
kind-hearted and conscientious clergyman proposed 
to address some religious exhortation to the prison- 
ers, on Sunday. But the keeper was so unfriendly 
to the exertion of such influence, that he assured 
him his life would be in peril, and the prisoners 
would doubtless escape, to rob and murder the citi- 
zens. When an order was granted by the sheriff for 
the performance of religious services, he obeyed it 
very reluctantly ; and he actually had a loaded cannon 
mounted near the clergyman, and a man standing 
ready with a lighted match all the time he was 
preaching. His audience were arranged in a solid 
column, directly in front of the cannon's mouth. 
This is supposed to have been the first sermon ad- 
dressed to the assembled inmates of a State Prison 
in this country. 

Notwithstanding Friend Hopper's extreme benevo- 
lence, he was rarely imposed upon. He made it a 

rule to give very little money to discharged convicts. 



He paid their board till employment could be obtain- 
ed, and when they wished to go to their families, in 
distant places, he procured free passage for them in 
steamboats or cars ; which his influence with cap- 
tains and conductors enabled him to do very easily. 
If they wanted to work at a trade, he purchased 
tools, and hired a shop, when circumstances seemed 
to warrant such expenditure. After they became 
well established in business, they were expected to 
repay these loans, for the benefit of others in the 
same unfortunate condition they had been. Of 
course, some who expected to receive money when- 
ever they told a pitiful story, were disappointed and 
vexed by these prudential regulations. Among the 
old gentleman's letters, I find one containing these 
expressions : " When I heard you talk in the Prison 
Chapel, I thought there was something for the man 
that had once left the path of honesty to hope for 
from his fellow-men ; but I find that I was greatly 
mistaken. You are men of words. You can do the 
wind-work first rate. But when a man wants a lit- 
tle assistance to get work, and get an honest living, 
you are not there. Now I wish to know where 
your philanthropy is." 

But such instances were exceptions. As a general 
rule, gratitude was manifested for the assistance ren- 
dered in time of need ; though it was always limited 
to the urgent necessities of the case. One day, 


the following letter, enclosing a dollar bill for the 
Association, was addressed to Isaac T. Hopper : 
"Should the humble mite here enclosed be the 
means of doing one-sixteenth part the good to any 
poor convict that the sixteenth of a dollar has done 
for me, which I received through your hands more 
than once, when I was destitute of money or friends, 
then I shall have my heart's desire. With the bless- 
ing of God, I remain your most humble debtor." 

From the numerous cases under Friend Hopper's 
care, while Agent of the Prison Association, I will 
select a few ; but I shall disguise the names, because 
the individuals are living, and I should be sorry to 
wound their feelings by any unnecessary exposure of 
past delinquences. 

C. R. about twenty-nine years old, called at the 
office, and said he had been lately released from 
Moyamensing prison ; having been sentenced for two 
years, on account of selling stolen goods. When 
Friend Hopper inquired whether it was his first of- 
fence, he frankly answered, "No. I have been in 
Sing Sing prison twice for grand larceny. I served 
five years each time." 

"Thou art still very young," rejoined Friend Hop- 
per; "and it seems a large portion of thy life has 
been spent in prison. I am afraid thou art a bad 
man. But I hope thou seest the error of thy ways, 


and art now determined to do better. Hast thou any 
friends ?" 

He replied, " I have a mother ; a poor hard-work- 
ing woman, who sells fruit and candies in the streets. 
If you will give me a start, I will try to lead an 
honest life henceforth ; for I want to be a comfort 
and support to her. I have no other friend in the 
world, and nobody to help me. When I left prison, 
I was advised to come to you. I am a shoemaker ; 
and if I had money to buy a set of tools, I would 
work at my trade, and take care of my mother." 

Necessary tools were procured for him, and he 
seemed very grateful ; saying it was the first time in 
his life that he had found any one willing to help 
him to be honest, when he came out of prison. 
Great doubts were entertained of the success of this 
case ; because the man had been so many times con- 
victed. But he occasionally called at the office, and 
always appeared sober and respectable. A few 
months after his first introduction, he sent Friend 
Hopper a letter from Oswego, enclosing seven dol- 
lars for his mother. He immediately delivered it, 
and returned with a cheerful heart to enter it on his 
Record ; adding, " The poor old woman was much 
pleased that her son remembered her, and said she 
believed he was now going to do well." 

After that, C. R. frequently sent five or ten dol- 
lars to his mother, through the same channel, and 


paid her rent punctually. He refunded all the mo- 
ney the Association had lent him, and made some 
small donations, in token of gratitude. Having be- 
haved in a very exemplary manner during four years 
and a half, Friend Hopper, at his earnest request, 
applied to the Governor to have all the rights of citi- 
zenship restored to him. This was readily obtained 
by a full and candid statement of the case. It is 
entered on the Record, with this remark: "C. R. 
has experienced a wonderful change for the better 
since he first called upon us. He said he should al- 
ways remember the kindness that had been extended 
to him, and hoped he should never do anything to 
make us regret it." 

He afterward opened a store, with a partner, and 
up to this present time, is doing well, both in a moral 
and worldly point of view. Five years and a half 
after he began to reform, Dr. Russ, of New- York, 
sent a discharged prisoner to him, in search of work. 
He wrote in reply, as follows: "I have obtained 
good employment for the bearer of your note ; and 
it gives me much pleasure at my heart to do some- 
thing for him that wishes to do well. So leave him 
to me ; and I trust you will be gratified to know the 
end of charity from a discharged convict." A week 
elapsed before the man could enter on his new em- 
ployment ; and C. R. paid his board during that 


A person, whom I will call Michael Stanley, was 
sentenced to Sing Sing- for two years ; being con- 
victed of grand larceny when he was about twenty- 
two years old. When his term expired, he called 
upon the Prison Association, and obtained assistance 
in procuring employment. He endeavored to estab- 
lish a good character, and was so fortunate as to gain 
the affections of a very orderly, industrious young 
woman, whom he soon after married. In his Regis- 
ter, Friend Hopper thus describes a visit to them, 
little more than a year after he was discharged from 
prison: "I called yesterday to visit M. S. He 
lives in the upper part of a brick house, nearly new. 
His wife is a neat, likely-looking woman, and ap- 
pears to be a nice housekeeper. Everything about 
the premises indicates frugality, industry, and com- 
fort. They have plain, substantial furniture, and a 
good carpet on the floor. Before their door is a 
grass-plot, and the margin of the fence is lined with 
a variety of plants in bloom. He and his wife, and 
her mother, manifested much gratification at my vi- 

In little more than two years after he began to re- 
trieve the early mistakes of his life, M. S. establish- 
ed a provision shop on his own account, in the city 
of New-York, and was successful. He and his tidy 
little wife called on Friend Hopper, from time to 
time, and always cheered his heart by their respecta- 


ble appearance, and the sincere gratitude they mani- 
fested. The following record stands in the Regis- 
ter : "M. S. called at my house, and spent an hour 
with me. He is a member of the Society of Metho- 
dists, and I really believe he is a reformed man. It 
is now more than four years and a half since he was 
released from Sing Sing ; and his conduct has ever 
since been unexceptionable." 

Another young man, whom I w T ill call Hans Over- 
ton, was the son of very respectable parents, but un- 
fortunately he formed acquaintance with unprinci- 
pled men when he was too young and inexperienced 
to be a judge of character. Being corrupted by 
their influence, he forged a check on a bank in Alba- 
ny. He was detected, and sentenced to the State 
Prison for two years. When he was released, at 
twenty-two years of age, he did the best he could to 
efface the blot on his reputation. But after having 
obtained respectable employment, he was discharged 
because his employer was told he had been in prison. 
He procured another situation, and the same thing 
again occurred. He began to think there was no 
use in trying to redeem his lost character. In this 
discouraged state of mind, he applied to the Prison 
Association for assistance. Inquiries were made of 
the two gentlemen in whose employ he had been 
more than a year. They said they had found him 
capable, industrious, and faithful ; and their distrust 


of him was founded solely on the fact of his being a 
discharged convict. For some time, he obtained on- 
ly temporary employment, now and then ; and the 
Association lent him. small sums of money whenever 
his necessities required. At one time, he was charg- 
ed with being an accomplice in a larceny ; but upon 
investigation, it was ascertained that he had become 
mixed, up with an affair, which made him appear to 
disadvantage, though he had no dishonest intentions 
in relation to it. Finally, through the influence of 
the Association he obtained a situation, in a drug 
store. His employer was fully informed concerning 
his previous history, but was willing to take him on 
trial. He remained there five years, and conducted 
in the most exemplary manner. Having married 
meanwhile, he was desirous to avail himself of an 
opportunity to obtain a higher salary ; and the drug- 
gist very willingly testified that his conduct had been 
entirely satisfactory during the time he had been 
with him. But in about eight months, his new em- 
ployer discovered that he had been in prison, and he 
immediately told him he had better procure some 
other situation ; though he acknowledged that he 
had no fault to find w r ith him. Friend Hopper 
sought an interview with this gentleman and repre- 
sented the youthfulness of H. 0. at the time he com- 
mitted the misdemeanor, which had so much injured 
the prospects of his life. He urged his subsequent 


good conduct, and the apparent sincerity of his ef- 
forts to build up a reputation for honesty. He final- 
ly put the case home to him, by asking how he 
would like to have others conduct toward a son of 
his own, under similar circumstances. It was a 
point of view from which the gentleman had never 
before considered the question, and his mind was 
somewhat impressed by it ; but his prejudices were 
not easily overcome. Meanwhile, the druggist was 
very willing to receive the young man back again ; 
and he returned. It seems as if it would have been 
almost impossible for him to have avoided sinking in- 
to the depths of discouragement and desperation, if 
he had not received timely assistance from the Prison 
Association. How highly he appreciated their aid 
may be inferred from the following letter to Isaac T. 
Hopper : 

" My dear friend, as business prevents me from see- 
ing you in the day-time, I take this method to express 
my thanks for the noble and generous mention made 
of me in your remarks before the Association ; which 
remarks were as pleasant and exciting to me, as they 
were unexpected. I need scarcely assure you, my 
kind and generous friend, (generous not only to so 
humble an individual as myself, but to all your fel- 
low creatures,) that it is out of my power to find 
words to thank you adequately, or to express my 
feelings on that occasion. I was the more gratified 


because my dear wife was present with me, and also 
my brother-in-law. Oh, what a noble work the So- 
ciety is engaged in. My most fervent prayer is that 
your name may remain on its list for many years to 
come. Then indeed should I have no fears for those 
poor unfortunates, whose first unthinking error pla- 
ces them unconditionally within the miasma of vice 
and crime. That you may enjoy a very merry 
Christmas, and many happy New-Years, is the sin- 
cere desire of my wife and myself." 

T. B., who has been for several years in the em- 
ploy of the Association, was raised by their aid from 
the lowest depths of intemperance, and has become 
a highly respectable and useful citizen. 

J. M., who was in Sing Sing Prison four years, for 
grand larceny, was aided by the Association at vari- 
ous times, and always repaid the money precisely at 
the appointed day. His industry and skilful man- 
agement excited envy and jealousy in some, who had 
less faculty for business. They taunted him with 
having been a convict, and threw all manner of ob- 
stacles in the way of his making an honest living. 
Among other persecutions, a suit at law was institut- 
ed against him, which cost him seventy-five dollars. 
The charge was entirely without foundation, and 
when brought before the court, was promptly dis- 
missed. It is now about six years since J. M. re- 


solved to retrieve his character, and he still perse- 
veres in the right course. 

Ann W. was an illegitimate child, and early left 
an orphan. She went to live with an aunt, who kept 
a boarding-house in Albany. According to her own 
account, she was harshly treated, and frequently 
taunted with the circumstances of her birth. At the 
early age of fourteen, one of the boarders offered to 
marry her, and induced her to leave the house with 
him. She lived with him some time, always urging 
the fulfilment of his promise ; and at last he pacified 
her by going to a person, who performed the mar- 
riage-ceremony. She was strongly attached to him, 
and being a capable, industrious girl, she kept every- 
thing nice and bright about their lodgings. He 
pretended to have a great deal of business in New- 
York ; but in fact his frequent visits to that city 
were for purposes of gambling. On one of those 
occasions, when he had been absent much longer 
than usual, she followed him, and found him living 
with another woman. He very coolly informed her 
that the marriage-ceremony between them was a 
mere sham ; the person who performed it not having 
been invested with any legal authority. Thus be- 
trayed, deserted, and friendless, the poor young 
creature became almost frantic. In that desperate 
state of mind, she was decoyed by a woman, who 
kept a disreputable house. A short career of reck- 


less frivolity and vice ended, as usual, in the hospital 
on BlackwelPs Island. When she was discharged, 
she tried to drown her sorrow and remorse in intem- 
perance, and went on ever from bad to worse, till 
she became a denizen of Five Points. In her brief 
intervals of sobriety, she was thoroughly disgusted 
with herself, and earnestly desired to lead a better 
life. Being turned into the street one night, in a 
state of intoxication, she went to the prison called 
The Tombs, because its architecture is in imitation 
of the ancient sepulchral halls of Egypt. She hum- 
bly asked permission to enter this gloomy abode, in 
hopes that some of the ladies connected with the 
Prison Association would visit her, and find some 
decent employment for her. Her case being repre- 
sented to Friend Hopper, he induced his wife to 
take her into the family, as a domestic. As soon as 
she entered the house, she said, "I don't want to 
deceive you. I will tell you everything." And she 
told all the particulars of her history, without at- 
tempting to veil any of its deformity. She was very 
industrious, and remarkably tidy in her habits. She 
kept the kitchen extremely neat, and loved to deco- 
rate it with little ornaments, especially with flowers. 
Poor shattered soul ! Who can tell into what blos- 
som of poetry that little germ might have expanded, 
if it had been kindly nurtured under gentle and re- 
fining influences ? She behaved very well for several 


months, and often expressed gratitude that she could 
now feel as if she had a home. Friend Hopper took 
great interest in her, and had strong hopes that she 
would become a respectable woman. Before a year 
expired, she relapsed into intemperate habits for a 
time ; but he overlooked it, and encouraged her to 
forget it. As she often expressed a great desire to 
see her cousins in Albany, he called upon them, and 
told the story of her reformation. They sent some 
little presents, accompanied with friendly messages, 
and after a while invited her to visit them. For a 
time, it seemed as if the excursion had done her 
good, both physically and mentally ; but the sight of 
respectable relatives, with husbands and children, 
made her realize more fully the utter loneliness of 
her own position. She used opium in large quanti- 
ties, and had dreadful fits in consequence. Some- 
times, she stole out of the house in the evening, and 
was taken up by the police in a state of intoxication. 
When she recovered her senses, she would be very 
humble, and during an interval of weeks, or months, 
would make an effort to behave extremely well. I 
forget how. often Friend Hopper received her back, 
after she had spent the night in the Station House ; 
but it was many, many times. His patience held 
out long after everybody else was completely weary. 
She finally became so violent and ungovernable, and 
endangered the household so much in her frantic tits, 


that even he fe]t the necessity of placing her under 
the restraining influences of some public institution. 
The Magdalen Asylum at Philadelphia consented to 
receive her, and after much exhortation, she was 
persuaded to go. While she was there, his daughters 
in that city called on her occasionally, at his request, 
and he and his wife made her a visit. He wrote to 
her frequently, in the kindest and most encouraging 
manner. In one of these epistles, he says: "I make 
frequent inquiries concerning thee, and am generally 
told thou art getting along pretty well. Now I want 
to hear a different tale from that. I want thy 
friends at the Asylum to be able to say, 'She is 
doing exceedingly well. Her health is good, she is 
satisfied with her condition, and we are all much 
gratified to find that she submits to the advice of her 
friends. , When they can speak thus of thee, I shall 
begin to think about changing thy situation. The 
woman who fills thy place in my family does very 
well. Every day, she puts on the table the mug 
thou gavest me, and she keeps it as bright as silver. 
Our little garden looks beautiful. The Morning 
Glories, thou used to take so much pleasure in, 
have grown finely. All the family desire kind re- 
membrances. Farewell. May peace and comfort 
be with thee." 

In another letter, he says : " Thy Heavenly Father 
has been kind, and waited long for thee; and He has 


now provided a way for thy redemption from the 
bondage under which thou hast suffered so much. I 
hope thou wilt not think of leaving the Asylum for 
some time to come. Thou canst not be so firmly 
established yet, as not to be under great temptation 
elsewhere. What a sorrowful circumstance it would 
be, if thou shouldst again return to the filthy and 
wicked habit of stupifying thyself with that per- 
nicious drug ! I am glad thou hast determined to 
take my advice. If thou wilt do so, I will never 
forsake thee. I will do all I can for thee ; and thou 
shalt never be without a home." 

Again he writes : "Thy letter occasioned joy and 
sorrow. Sorrow to find thou hast not always treated 
the matron as thou oughtest to have done. I am 
sure that excellent person is every way worthy of 
thy regard ; and I hope my ears will never again be 
pained by hearing that thou hast treated her un- 
kindly or disrespectfully. I did hope that after a 
year's discipline, thou hadst learned to control thy 
temper. Until thou canst do so, thou must be 
aware that thou art not qualified to render thyself 
useful or agreeable in any family. But after all, I 
am glad to find that thou art sensible of thy error, 
and hast a disposition to improve. When thou 
liest down at night, I want thee to examine the 
deeds of the past day. If thou hast made a hasty 
reply, or spoken impertinently, or done wrong in any 


other way, be careful to acknowledge thy fault. 
Ask thy Heavenly Father to forgive thee, and be 
careful to do so no more. I feel a great regard for 
thee ; and I trust thou wilt never give me cause to 
regret thy relapse into vice. I hope better things 
for thee, and I always shall." 

But his hopefulness and patience proved of no 
avail in this instance. The wreck was too complete 
to admit of repair. The poor creature occasionally 
struggled hard to do better ; but her constitution 
was destroyed by vice and hardship ; her feelings 
were blunted by suffering, and her naturally bright 
faculties were stupified by opium. After she left the 
Asylum, she lived with a family in the country for 
awhile ; but the old habits returned, and destroyed 
what little strength she had left. The last I knew 
of her she was on Blackwell's Island ; and she will 
probably never leave it, till she goes where the weary 
are at rest. 

An uncommon degree of interest was excited in 
Friend Hopper's mind by the sufferings of another 
individual, whom I will call Julia Peters. She was 
born of respectable parents, and was carefully tended 
in her early years. Her mother was a prudent, re- 
ligious-minded woman ; but she died when Julia was 
twelve years old. The father soon after took to 
drinking and gambling, and spent all the property he 
possessed. His daughter was thus brought into the 


midst of profligate associates, at an age when im- 
pulses are strong, and the principles unformed. She 
led a vicious life for several years, and during a fit 
of intoxication married a worthless, dissipated fellow. 
When she was eighteen years old, she was im- 
prisoned for perjury. The case appeared doubtful 
at the time, and from circumstances, which after- 
ward came to light, it is supposed that she was not 
guilty of the alleged crime. The jury could not 
agree on the first trial, and she remained in jail two 
years, awaiting a decision of her case. She was at 
last pronounced guilty ; and feeling that injustice 
was done her, she made use of violent and disre- 
spectful language to the court. This probably in- 
creased the prejudice against her ; for she was sen- 
tenced to Sing Sing prison for the long term of four- 
teen years. She was naturally intelligent, active and 
energetic ; and the limitations of a prison had a 
worse effect upon her, than they would have had on 
a more stolid temperament. In the course of a year 
or wo, her mind began to sink under the pressure, 
and finally exhibited signs of melancholy insanity. 
Friend Hopper had an interview with her soon after 
she was conveyed to Sing Sing, and found her in a 
state of deep dejection. She afterward became com- 
pletely deranged, and was removed to the Lunatic 
Asylum at Bloomingdale. He and his wife visited 

her there, and found her in a state of temporary 


rationality. Her manners were quiet and pleasing, 
and she appeared exceedingly gratified to see them. 
The superintendent granted permission to take her with 
them in a walk through the grounds, and she enjoyed 
this little excursion very highly. But when one of 
the company remarked that it was a very pleasant 
place, she sighed deeply, and replied, "Yes, it is a 
pleasant place to those who can leave it. But chains 
are chains, though they are made of gold ; and mine 
grow heavier every day." 

Her temperament peculiarly required freedom, and 
chafed and fretted under restraint. Insanity returned 
upon her with redoubled force, soon after. She used 
blasphemous and indecent language, and cut up her 
blankets to make pantaloons. She picked the lock 
of her room, and tried various plans of escape. 
When Friend Hopper went to see her again, some 
weeks later, he found her in the masculine attire, 
which she had manufactured. She tried to hide 
herself, but when he called her back in a gentle, J^ut 


firm tone, she came immediately. He took her 
kindly by the hand, and said, "Julia, what does all 
this mean?" 

"It is military costume, 5 ' she replied. "I am an 
officer of state." 

"I am sorry thou art not more decently clad," 
said he. "I intended to have thee take a walk with 
me ; but I should be ashamed to go with thee in 


that condition." She earnestly entreated to go, and 
promised to change her dress immediately. He 
accordingly waited till she was ready, and then 
spent more than an hour walking round the grounds 
with her. She told him the history of her life, and 
wrpt bitterly over the retrospect of her erroneous 
course. It seemed a great relief to have some one 
to whom she could open her over-burdened heart. 
She was occasionally incoherent, but the fresh air 
invigorated her, and the quiet talk soothed her per- 
turbed feelings. At parting, she said, "I thank you. 
I thought I had n't a friend in the world. I was 
afraid everybody had forgotten me." 

"I am thy sincere friend," he replied; "and I 
promise that I will never forget thee." 

1 make the following extract from a letter, which 
he wrote to her soon after: "Now, Julia, listen to 
me, and mind what I say ; for thou knowest I am 
thy friend. I want thee, at all times, and upon all 
occasions, to be very careful of thy conduct. Never 
suffer thyself to use vulgar or profane language. It 
would grieve me, and I am sure thou dost not wish 
to do that. Besides, it is very degrading, and very 
wicked. Be discreet, sober, and modest. Be kind, 
courteous, and obliging to all. Thou wilt make 
many friends by so doing, and wilt feel more cheer- 
ful and happy thyself. Do be a lady. I know thou 
canst, if thou wilt. More than all, I want thee to be 


a Christian. I sympathize with thee, and intend to 
come and see thee soon." 

Dr. Earle, physician of the Asylum, said the letter 
had a salutary effect upon her. Friend. Hopper 
went out to see her frequently, and was often ac- 
companied by his wife, or daughters. Her bodily 
and mental health continued to improve ; and in the 
course of five or six months, the doctor allowed her 
to accompany her kind old friend, to the city, and 
spend a day and night at his house. This change of 
scene was found so beneficial, that the visit was 
repeated a few weeks after. Before winter set in, 
she was so far restored that she spent several days 
in his family, and conducted with the greatest pro- 
priety. He soon after applied to the Governor for a 
pardon, which was promptly granted. His next step 
was to procure a suitable home for her ; and a 
worthy Quaker family in Pennsylvania, who were 
acquainted with all the circumstances, agreed to 
employ her as chambermaid and seamstress. When 
it was all arranged, Friend Hopper went out to the 
Asylum to carry the news. But fearful of exciting 
her too much, he talked upon indifferent subjects for 
a few minutes, and then asked if she would like to 
go into the city again to spend a fortnight with his 
family. She replied, " Indeed I would." He pro- 
mised to take her with him, and added, "Perhaps 
thou wilt stay longer than two weeks." At last, he 


said, "It may be that thou wilt not have to return 
here again. She sprang up instantly, and looking in 
his face with intense anxiety, exclaimed, "Am I 
pardoned ? Am I pardoned ? " 

"Yes, thou art pardoned," he replied ; "and I have 
come to take thee home." She fell back into her 

it, covered her face with her hands, and wept 
aloud. Friend Hopper, describing this interview in 
a letter lo a friend, says : "It was the most affect- 
ing scene 1 ever witnessed. Nothing could exceed 
the joy I felt at seeing this child of sorrow relieved 
from her sufferings, and restored to liberty. I had 
seen this young and comely looking woman, who 
was endowed with more than common good sense, 
driven to the depths of despair by the intensity of 
her sufferings. I had seen her a raving maniac. 
Now, I saw her * sitting and clothed in her right 
mind.' I was a thousand times more than compen- 
sated for all the pains I had taken. I had sympa- 
thized deeply with her sufferings, and I now partook 
largely of her joy." 

As her nerves were in a very excitable state, it 
was thought best that she should remain a few weeks 
under the superintendence of his daughter, Mrs. Gib- 
bons, before she went to the home provided for her. 
She was slightly unsettled at times, but was disposed 
to be industrious and cheerful. Having earned a lit- 
tle money by her needle, the first use she made of it, 


was to buy a pair of vases for Friend Hopper ; and 
proud and pleased she was, when she brought them 
home and presented them ! He always kept them 
on the parlor mantel-piece, and often told their histo- 
ry to people who called upon him. 

When she had become perfectly calm and settled, 
he and his wife accompanied her to Pennsylvania, 
and saw her established among her new friends, who 
received her in the kindest manner. A week alter 
his return, he wrote to assure her that his interest in 
her had not abated. In the course of the letter, he 
says : "I need not tell thee how anxious I am that 
thou shouldst conduct so as to be a credit to thyself, 
and to those who have interested themselves in thy 
behalf. I felt keenly at parting with thee, but I was 
comforted by the reflection that I had left thee with 
kind friends. Confide in them upon all occasions, 
and do nothing without their advice. Thy future 
happiness will depend very much upon thyself. Never 
suffer thy mind to become excited. Remember 
that kind friends were raised up for thee in the midst 
of all thy sorrows, and that they will always continue 
to be thy friends, if thou wilt be guided by their 
counsels. Thou wert with us so long, that we feel 
toward thee like one of the family. All join me in 
love to thee." 

In her reply, she says : "Your letter was to me 
what a glass of cold water would be when fainting. 


I have pored over it so much, that I have got it by- 
heart. Friend Hopper, you first saw me in prison 
and visited me. You followed me to the Asylum. 
You did not forsake me. You have changed a bed 
of straw to a bed of down. May Heaven bless and 
reward you for it. No tongue can express the grati- 
tude I feel. Many are the hearts you have made 
glad. Suppose all you have dragged out of one 
place and another were to stand before you at once ! 
I think you would have more than you could shake 
hands with in a month ; and I know you would shake 
hands with them all." 

For a few months, she behaved in a very satisfac- 
tory manner, though occasionally unsettled and de- 
pressed. She wrote that the worthy woman with 
whom she lived was ' both mother and friend to her.' 
But the country was gloomy in the winter, and the 
spirit of unrest took possession of her. She went to 
Philadelphia and plunged into scenes of vice for a 
week or two ; but she quickly repented, and was 
rescued by her friends. I have seldom seen Friend 
Hopper so deeply pained as he was by this retrograde 
step in one whom he had rejoiced over, "as a brand 
plucked from the burning." After awhile, he ad- 
dressed a letter to her, in which he says : "I should 
have written to thee before, but I have been at a loss 
what to say. I have cared for thee, as if thou hadst 
been my own child. Little did I think thou wouldst 


ever disgrace thyself, and distress me, by associating 
with the most vile. Thou wert wonderfully snatched 
from a sink of pollution. I hoped thou wouldst ap- 
preciate the favor, and take a fresh start in life, de- 
termined to do well. Better, far better, for thee to 
have lingered out a wretched, existence in Blooming- 
dale Asylum, than to continue in such a course as 
that thou entered upon in Philadelphia. My heart is 
pained while I write. Indeed, thou art seldom out 
of my mind. Most earnestly, and affectionately, I 
beseech thee to change thy course. Restrain evil 
thoughts and banish them from thee. Try to keep 
thy mind quiet, and stayed upon thy Heavenly Fa- 
ther. He has done much for thee. He has follow- 
ed thee in all thy wanderings. Ask him to for- 
give thy iniquity, and he will have mercy on thee. 
Thou mayest yet be happy thyself, and, make those 
happy who have taken a deep interest in thy welfare. 
But if thou art determined to pursue evil courses, af- 
ter all that has been done for thee, let me tell thee 
thy days will be* brief and full of trouble ; and I 
doubt not thou wilt end them within the walls of a 
prison. I hope better things of thee. If thou doest 
well, it will afford encouragement to assist others ; 
but if thy conduct is bad, it may be the means of 
prolonging the sufferings of many others. I am still 
thy friend, and disposed to do all I can for thee." 
In her answer, she says : " Oh, frail woman ! No 


steps can be recalled. It is all in the future to make 
amends for the past. After all the good counsel 
some receive, they return to habits of vice. They 
repent when it is too late. How true it is that virtue 
has its reward, and vice its punishment. I know 
that the way of transgressors is hard. If I only had 
a few years of my life to live over again, how differ- 
ent would I live ! For the many blessings Provi- 
dence has bestowed on me, may I be grateful. In 
all my troubles, He has raised me up a friend. I be- 
lieve He never forsakes me ; so there is hope for me. 
Don't be discouraged that you befriended me ; for, 
with God's blessing, you shall have no reason to re- 
pent of it." 

He wrote thus to her, a short time after : " I very 
often think of thee, and I yet hope that I shall one 
day see thee a happy and respectable woman. I 
have lately had a good deal of conversation with the 
Governor concerning 'my friends,' as he calls those 
whom he has pardoned at my request. I did not tell 
him thou hadst behaved incorrectly. I hope I shall 
never be obliged to do so. I have had pleasant ac- 
counts concerning thee lately, and I do not wish to 
remember that thou hast ever grieved me. As 1 
passed down the river yesterday, from Albany, I saw 
Bloomingdale Asylum. I remembered how I used 
to walk with thee about the grounds ; and my mind 

was for a time depressed with melancholy reflections. 


I had deeply sympathized in thy sufferings ; and I 
had rarely, if ever, experienced greater pleasure 
than when I was the happy messenger of thy re- 
demption from the grievous thraldom, under w T hich 
thou wert suffering. Thou art blessed with more 
than common good sense, and thou knowest how to 
make thyself agreeable. I earnestly advise thee to 
guard well thy thoughts. Never allow thyself to 
use an immodest w T ord, or to be guilty of an unbe- 
coming action. On all occasions, show thyself wor- 
thy of the regard of those who feel an interest in 
thy welfare. 'There is joy in heaven over one sin- 
ner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine 
just persons that need no repentance.' With ardent 
solicitude for thy welfare, I remain thy sincere 

About two years afterward, Friend Hopper made 
the following record in his Register: "J. P. conti- 
nues to conduct very satisfactorily. She makes a 
very respectable appearance, is modest and discreet 
in her deportment, and industrious in her habits. As 
a mark of gratitude for the attentions, which at dif- 
ferent times I have extended to her, she has sent me 
a pair of handsome gloves, and a bandana handker- 
chief. Taking into consideration all the circumstan- 
ces attending this case, this small present affords me 
much more gratification than ten times the value 
from any other person." Six months later, he made 


this record : "The Friend, with whom J. P. lives, 
called upon me to say that she sent a world of love 
to Isaac T. Hopper, whose kindness she holds in 
grateful remembrance." The same Friend afterward 
wrote, "She is all that I could wish her to be." 

Many more instances might be quoted ; but enough 
has been told to illustrate his patience and forbear- 
ance, and his judicious mode of dealing with such 
characters. Dr. Russ, one of the most active and 
benevolent members of the Prison Association, thinks 
it is a fair statement to say that at least three-fourths 
of those for whom he interested himself eventually 
turned out well ; though in several cases, it was af- 
ter a few backslidings. The fullness of his sympa- 
thy w r as probably one great reason why he obtained 
such influence over them, and made them, so willing 
to open their hearts to him. He naturally, and with- 
out effort, put his soul in their soul's stead. This 
rendered it easy for him to disregard his own inter- 
ests, and set aside his own opinions, for the benefit of 
others. In several instances, he procured another 
place for a healthy, good-looking domestic, with 
whose services he was well satisfied, merely because 
some poor creature applied for work, who was too 
lame, or ill-favored, to obtain employment elsewhere. 
When an insane girl, from Sing Sing, was brought to 
his house to wait for an opportunity to return to her 
parents in Canada, he sent for the Catholic Bishop to 


come and minister to her spiritual wants, because he 
found she was very unhappy without religious con- 
solation in the form to which she had been accus- 
tomed in childhood. 

The peculiar adaptation of his character to this 
mission of humanity was not only felt by his fellow 
laborers in the New- York Association, but was ac- 
knowledged wherever he was known. Dr. Walter 
Channing, brother of the late Dr. William Ellery 
Channing wrote to him as follows, when the Boston 
Prison Association was about being formed ; "I was 
rejoiced to learn that you would stay to help at our 
meetings in behalf of criminals. The demand which 
this class of brothers has upon us is felt by every 
man, who examines his own heart, and his own life. 
How great is every man's need of the kindness and 
love of his brethren ! Here is the deep-laid cause of 
sympathy. Here is the secret spring of that wide 
effort, which the whole world is now making for the 
happiness and good of the race. I thank you for 
what you have done in this noble work. I had heard 
with the sincerest pleasure, of your labors for the 
down-trodden and the poor. God bless you for these 
labors of love ! Truly shall I thank you for the 
light you can so abundantly give, and which will 
make the path of duty plain before me." 

Incessant demands were made upon his time and 
attention. A great many people, if they happened 


to have their feelings touched hy some scene of dis- 
tress, seemed to think they had fulfilled their whole 
duty hy sending- the sufferer to Isaac T. Hopper. 
Few can imagine what an arduous task it is to be 
such a thorough philanthropist as he was. Whoever 
wishes for a crown like his, must earn it by carrying 
the martyr's cross through life. They must make 
up their minds to relinquish their whole time to such 
pursuits ; they must be prepared to encounter envy 
and dislike ; to be misrepresented and blamed, where 
their intentions have been most praiseworthy ; to be 
often disheartened by the delinquences, or ingrati- 
tude, of those they have expended their time and 
strength to serve ; above all, they must be willing to 
live and die poor. 

Though attention to prisoners was the mission to 
which Friend Hopper peculiarly devoted the last 
years of his life, his sympathy for the slaves never 
abated. And though his own early efforts had been 
made in co-operation with the gradual Emancipation 
Society, established by Franklin, Rush, and others, 
he rejoiced in the bolder movement, known as mod- 
ern anti-slavery. Of course, he did not endorse eve- 
rything that was said and done by all sorts of tem- 
peraments engaged in that cause, or in any other cause. 
But no man understood better than he did the fallacy 
of the argument that modern abolitionists had put 
back the cause of emancipation in the South. He 


often used to speak of the spirit manifested toward 
William Savery, when he went to the South to 
preach, as early as 1791. Writing from Augusta, 
Georgia, that tender-hearted minister of Christ says : 
" They can scarcely tolerate us, on account of our 
abhorrence of slavery. This was truly a trying place 
to lodge in another night." At Savannah the landlord 
of a tavern where they lodged, ordered a cruel flog- 
ging to be administered to one of his slaves, who had 
fallen asleep through weariness, before his daily task 
was accomplished. William Savery says : "When 
we went to supper, this unfeeling wretch craved a 
blessing ; which I considered equally abhorrent to the 
Divine Being, as his curses." In the morning, when 
the humane preacher heard sounds of the lash, ac- 
companied by piteous cries for mercy, he had the 
boldness to step in between the driver and the slave ; 
and he stopped any further infliction of punishment, 
for that time. He says: "This landlord was the 
most abominably wicked man that I ever met with ; 
full of horrid execrations, and threatenings of all 
Northern people. But I did not spare him ; which 
occasioned a bystander to express, with an oath, that 
I should be 'popped over.' We left them distressed 
in mind ; and having a lonesome wood of twelve 
miles to pass through, we were in full expectation of 
their waylaying, or coming after us, to put their 
wicked threats in execution.' 


As early as 1806, James Lindley, of Pennsylvania, 
had a large piece of iron hurled at him, as he was 
passing through the streets, at Havre de Grace, 
Maryland. Three of his ribs were broken, and 
several teeth knocked out, and he was beaten till he 
was supposed to be dead. All this was done merely 
because they mistook him for Jacob Lindley, the 
Quaker preacher, who was well known as a friend to 
fugitives from slavery. 

In view of these, and other similar facts, Friend 
Hopper was never disposed to blame abolitionists for 
excitements at the South, as many of the Quakers 
were inclined to do. He had a sincere respect for 
the integrity and conscientious boldness of William 
Lloyd Garrison ; as all have, who know him well 
enough to appreciate his character. For many 
years, he was always an invited and welcome guest 
on the occasion of the annual meeting of the Anti- 
Slavery Society in New-York. Mr. Garrison's feel- 
ings toward him are manifested in the following 
answer to one of his letters : "As there is no one in 
the world for whom I entertain more veneration and 
esteem than for yourself, and as there is no place in 
New- York, that is so much like home to me, as your 
own hospitable dwelling, be assured it will give me 
the utmost pleasure to accept your friendly invita- 
tion to remain under your roof during the approach- 


ing anniversary week." It was on one of these 
occasions, that Garrison addressed to him the fol- 
lowing sonnet : 

" Thou kind and venerable friend of man, 

In heart and spirit young, though old in years ! 

The tyrant trembles when thy name he hears, 
And the slave joys thy honest face to scan. 
A friend more true and brave, since time began, 

Humanity has never found : her fears 

By thee have been dispelled, and wiped the tears 
Adown her sorrow-stricken cheeks that ran. 
If like Napoleon's appears thy face, 

Thy soul to his bears no similitude. 
He came to curse, but thou to bless our race. 

Thy hands are pure ; in blood were his imbrued. 
His memory shall be covered with disgrace, 

But thine embalmed among the truly great and good." 

Until the last few years of his life, Friend Hopper 
usually walked to and from his office twice a day, 
making about five miles in the whole ; to which he 
sometimes added a walk in the evening, to visit 
children or friends, or transact some necessary busi- 
ness. When the weather was very unpleasant, he 
availed himself of the Harlem cars. Upon one of 
these occasions, it chanced that the long, ponderous 
vehicle was nearly empty. They had not proceeded 
far, when a very respectable-looking young woman 
beckoned for the car to stop. It did so ; but when 
she set her foot on the step, the conductor, some- 


what rudely pushed her back ; and she turned away, 
evidently much mortified. Friend Hopper started 
up and inquired, "Why didst thou push that woman 

" She's colored," was the laconic reply. 

"Art thou instructed by the managers of the rail- 
road to proceed in this manner on such occasions?" 
inquired Friend Hopper. 

The man answered, "Yes." 

"Then let me get out," rejoined the genuine re- 
publican. "It disturbs my conscience to ride in "a 
public conveyance, where any decently behaved per- 
son is refused admittance." And though it was 
raining very fast, and his home was a mile off, the 
old veteran of seventy-five years marched through 
mud and wet, at a pace somewhat brisker than his 
usual energetic step ; for indignation w T armed his 
honest and kindly heart, and set the blood in motion. 
The next day, he called at the rail-road office, and 
very civilly inquired of one of the managers whether 
conductors w T ere instructed to exclude passengers 
merely on account of complexion. 

"Certainly not," was the prompt reply. "They 
have discretionary power to reject any person who 
is drunk, or offensively unclean, or indecent, or quar- 

Friend Hopper then related how a young woman 
of modest appearance, and respectable dress, w T as 


pushed from the step, though the car was nearly 
empty, and she was seeking shelter from a violent 

"That was wrong," replied the manager. "We 
have no reason to complain of colored people as pas- 
sengers. They obtrude upon no one, and always 
have sixpences in readiness to pay ; whereas fash- 
ionably dressed white people frequently offer a ten 
dollar bill, which they know we cannot change, and 
thus cheat us out of our rightful dues. Who was 
the conductor, that behaved in the manner you have 
described 1 We will turn him aw r ay, if he does n't 
know better how to use the discretionary power with 
which he is entrusted." 

Friend Hopper replied, "I had rather thou wouldst 
not turn him out of thy employ, unless he repeats 
the offence, after being properly instructed. I have 
no wish to injure the man. He has become infected 
with the unjust prejudices of the community without 
duly reflecting upon the subject. Friendly conver- 
sation with him may suggest wiser thoughts. All I 
ask of thee is to instruct him that the rights of the 
meanest citizen are to be respected. I thank thee 
for having listened to my complaint in such a candid 
and courteous manner." 

"And I thank you for having come to inform us 
of the circumstance," replied the manager. They 
parted mutually well pleased ; and a few days after, 


the same conductor admitted a colored woman into 
the cars without making any objection. This im- 
proved state of things continued several weeks. But 
the old tyrannical system was restored, owing to 
counteracting influence from some unknown quarter. 
I often met colored people coming from the country 
in the Harlem cars ; but I never afterward knew one 
to enter from the streets of the city. 

Many colored people die every year, and vast 
numbers have their health permanently impaired, on 
account of inclement weather, to which they are ex- 
posed by exclusion from public conveyances. And 
this merely on account of complexion ! What a tor- 
nado of popular eloquence would come from our 
public halls, if Austria or Russia were guilty of any 
despotism half as mean ! Yet the great heart of the 
people is moved by kind and sincere feelings in its 
outbursts against foreign tyranny. But in addition 
to this honorable sympathy for the oppressed in other 
countries, it would be well for them to look at home, 
and consider whether it is just that any well-behaved 
people should be excluded from the common privi- 
leges of public conveyances. If a hundred citizens 
in New-York would act as Friend Hopper did, the 
evil would soon be remedied. It is the almost uni- 
versal failure in individual duty, which so accumu- 
lates errors and iniquities in society, that the ultra- 
theories, and extra efforts of reformers become abso- 


lutely necessary to prevent the balance of things 
from being destroyed ; as thunder and lightning are 
required to purify a polluted atmosphere. Godwin, 
in some of his writings, asks, "What is it that ena- 
bles a thousand errors to keep their station in the 
world ? It is cowardice. It is because the majority 
of men, w 7 ho see that things are not altogether right, 
yet see in so frigid a w T ay, and have so little courage 
to express their views. If every man to-day would 
tell all the truth he knows, three years hence, there 
would scarcely be a falsehood of any magnitude 
remaining in the civilized world." 

In the summer of 1844, Friend Hopper met with 
a Methodist preacher from Mississippi, who came 
with his family to New-York, to attend a General 
Conference. Being introduced as a zealous aboli- 
tionist, the conversation immediately turned upon 
slavery. One of the preacher's daughters said, " I 
could'nt possibly get along without slaves, Mr. Hop- 
per. Why I never dressed or undressed myself, till 
I came to the North. I wanted very much to bring 
a slave with me." 

"I wish thou hadst," rejoined Friend Hopper. 

"And what would you have done, if you had seen 
her?" she inquired. 

He replied, "I would have told her that she was 
a free woman while she remained here ; but if she 


went back to the South, she would be liable to be 
sold, like a pig or a sheep." 

They laughed at this frank avowal, and when he 
invited them to come to his house with their father, 
to take tea, they gladly accepted the invitation. 
Again the conversation turned toward that subject, 
which is never forgotten when North and South 
meet. In answer to some remark from Friend Hop- 
per, the preacher said, "Do you think I am not a 
Christian ?" 

"I certainly do not regard thee as one," he replied. 

"And I suppose you think I cannot get to hea- 
ven ?" rejoined the slaveholder. 

" I will not say that," replied the Friend. "To 
thy own Master thou must stand or fall. But slavery 
is a great abomination, and no one who is guilty of 
it can be a Christian, or Christ-like. I would not 
exclude thee from the kingdom of heaven ; but if 
thou dost enter there, it must be because thou art 
ignorant of the fact that thou art living in sin." 

After a prolonged conversation, mostly on the 
same topic, the guests rose to depart. The Metho- 
dist said, "Well, Mr. Hopper, I have never been 
treated better by any man, than I have been by you. 
I should be very glad to have you visit us." 

"Ah ! and thou wouldst lynch me ; or at least, thy 
friends would," he replied, smiling. 

" Oh no, we would treat you very well," rejoined 


the Southerner. " But how would you talk about 
slavery if you were there ?" 

"Just as I do here, to be sure," answered the 
Quaker. " I would advise the slaves to be honest, 
industrious, and obedient, and never try to run away 
from a good master, unless they were pretty sure of 
escaping ; because if they were caught, they would 
fare worse than before. But if they had a safe op- 
portunity, I should advise them to be off as soon as 
possible." In a more serious tone, he added, " And 
to thee, who claimest to be a minister of Christ, I 
would say that thy Master requires thee to give de- 
liverance to the captive, and let the oppressed go 
free. My friend, hast thou a conscience void of of- 
fence ? When thou liest down at night, is thy mind 
always at ease on this subject ? After pouring out 
thy soul in prayer to thy Heavenly Father, dost thou 
not feel the outraged sense of right, like a perpetual 
motion, restless within thy breast ? Dost thou not 
hear a voice telling thee it is wrong to hold thy fel- 
low men in slavery, with their wives and their little 
ones f 

The preacher manifested some emotion at this ear- 
nest appeal, and confessed that he sometimes had 
doubts on the subject ; though, on the whole, he had 
concluded that it was right to hold slaves. One of 
his daughters, who was a widow, seemed to be more 
deeply touched. She took Friend Hopper's hand, at 


parting, and said, "I am thankful for the privilege 
of having seen you. I never talked with an aboli- 
tionist before. You have convinced me that slave- 
holding is sinful in the sight of God. My husband 
left me several slaves, and I have held them for five 
years ; but when I return, I am resolved to hold a 
slave no longer." 

Friend Hopper cherished some hope that this 
preaching and praying slaveholder would eventually 
manumit his bondmen ; but I had listened to his 
conversation, and I thought otherwise. His con- 
science seemed to me to be asleep under a seven-fold, 
shield of self-satisfied piety ; and I have observed 
that such consciences rarely waken. 

At the time of the Christiana riots, in 1851, when 
the slave-pow r er seemed to overshadow 7 everything, 
and none but the boldest ventured to speak against 
it, Friend Hopper wrote an article for the Tribune, 
and signed it with his name, in which he maintained 
that the colored people, "w 7 ho defended themselves 
and their firesides against the lawless assaults of an 
armed party of negro-hunters from Maryland," ought 
not to be regarded as traitors or murderers "by men 
who set a just value on liberty, and who had no con- 
scientious scruples with regard to war." 

The first runaway, who was endangered by the 
passage of the Fugitive Slave Law- in 1850, happen- 
ed to be placed under his protection. A very good- 


looking colored man, who escaped from bondage, re- 
sided some years in Worcester, Massachusetts, and 
acquired several thousand dollars by hair-dressing. 
He went to New- York to be married, and it chanced 
that his master arrived in Worcester in search of 
him, the very day that he started for that city. 
Some person friendly to the colored man sent infor- 
mation to New- York by telegraph ; but the gentle- 
man to whom it was addressed was out of the city. 
One of the operators at the telegraph office said, 
"Isaac T. Hopper ought to know of this message ;" 
and he carried it himself. Friend Hopper was then 
eighty years old, but he sprang out of bed at mid- 
night, and went off with all speed to hunt up the fu- 
gitive. He found him, w T arned him of his danger, 
and offered to secrete him. The colored man hesi- 
tated. He feared it might be a trick to decoy him 
into his master's power. But the young wife gazed 
very earnestly at Friend Hopper, and said, "I would 
trust the countenance of that Quaker gentleman 
anywhere. Let us go with him." They spent the 
remainder of the night at his house, and after being 
concealed elsewhere for a few days, they went to 
Canada. This slave was the son of his master, who 
estimated his market-value at two thousand, five hun- 
dred dollars. Six months imprisonment, and a fine 
of one thousand dollars was the legal penalty for 
aiding him. But Friend Hopper always said, " I 


have never sought to make any slave discontented 
with his situation, because I do not consider it either 
wise or kind to do so ; but so long as my life is 
spared, I will always assist any one, who is trying to 
escape from slavery, be the laws what they may." 

A black man, who had fled from bondage, married 
a mulatto woman in Philadelphia, and became the 
father of six children. He owned a small house in 
the neighborhood of that city, and had lived there 
comfortably several years, when that abominable law 
was passed, by which the Northern States rendered 
their free soil a great hunting-ground for the rich 
and powerful to run down the poor and weak. In 
rushed the slaveholders from all quarters, to seize 
their helpless prey ! At dead of night, the black 
man, sleeping quietly in the humble home he had 
earned by unremitting industry, was roused up to re- 
ceive information that his master was in pursuit of 
him. His eldest daughter was out at service in the 
neighborhood, and there was no time to give her no- 
tice. They hastily packed such articles as they 
could take, caught the little ones from their beds, 
and escaped before the morning dawned. A gentle- 
man, who saw them next day on board a steamboat, 
observed their uneasiness, and suspected they were 
" fugitives from injustice." When he remarked this 
to a companion, he replied, " They have too much 

luggage to be slaves." Nevertheless, he thought it 


could do no harm to inform them that Isaac T. Hop- 
per of New-York was the best adviser of fugitives. 
Accordingly, a few hours afterward, the whole co- 
lored colony was established in his house ; where the 
genteel-looking mother, and her bright, pretty little 
children excited a very lively interest in all hearts. 
They made their way to Canada as soon as possible, 
and the daughter who was left in Philadelphia, was 
soon after sent to them. 

Friend Hopper's resolute resistance to oppression, 
in every form, never produced any harshness in his 
manners, or diminished his love of quiet domestic 
life. He habitually surrendered himself to pleasant 
influences, even from events that troubled him at the 
time, he generally extracted some agreeable incident 
and soon forgot those of opposite character. It was 
quite observable how little he thought of the instan- 
ces of ingratitude he had met with. He seldom, if 
ever, alluded to them, unless reminded by some di- 
rect question ; but the unfortunate beings who had 
persevered in reformation, and manifested gratitude, 
were always uppermost in his thoughts. 

Though always pleased to hear that his children 
were free from pecuniary anxiety, he never desired 
wealth for them. The idea of money never seemed 
to occur to him in connection with their marriages. 
It was a cherished wish of his heart to have them 
united to members of the Society of Friends ; yet he 


easily yielded, even on that point, as soon as he saw 
their happiness was at stake. When one of his sons 
married into a family educated under influences to- 
tally foreign to Quaker principles, he was somewhat 
disturbed. But he at once adopted the bride as a 
beloved daughter of his heart ; and she ever after 
proved a lovely and thomless Rose in the pathway 
of his life. Great was his satisfaction when he dis- 
covered that she was grandchild of Dr. William 
Rogers, Professor of English and Oratory in the 
University of Pennsylvania, who, sixty years before, 
had preached the first 'sermon to inmates of the State 
Prison, in Philadelphia. That good and. gifted cler- 
gyman was associated with his earliest recollections ; 
for when he was on one of his pleasant visits to his 
uncle Tatem, at six years old, he went to meeting 
with him for the first time, and was seated on a stool 
between his knees. The proceedings were a great 
novelty to him ; for Dr. Rogers was the first minis- 
ter he ever saw in a pulpit. He never forgot the 
text of that sermon. I often heard him repeat it, 
during the last years of his life. The remembrance 
of these incidents, and the great respect he had for 
the character of the prison missionary, at once es- 
tablished in his mind a claim of old relationship be- 
tween him and the new inmate of his household. 

He had the custom of sitting with his wife on the 
front-door-step during the summer twilight, to catch 


the breeze, that always refreshes the city of New- 
York, after a sultry day. On such occasions, the 
children of the neighborhood soon began to gather 
round him. One of the most intelligent and inter- 
esting pupils of the Deaf and Dumb Institution had 
married Mr. Gallaudet, Professor in that Institution, 
and resided in the next house. She had a bright 
lively little daughter, who very early learned to imi- 
tate her rapid and graceful way of conversing by 
signs. This child was greatly attracted toward 
Friend Hopper. The moment she saw T him, she 
would clap her tiny hands with delight, and toddle 
toward him, exclaiming, "Opper! Opper !" When 
he talked to her, she would make her little fingers 
fly, in the prettiest fashion, interpreting by signs to 
her mute mother all that " Opper" had been saying. 
Her quick intelligence and animated gestures were a 
perpetual source of amusement to him. When he 
went down to his office in the morning, all the nurses 
in the neighborhood were accustomed to stop in his 
path, that he might have some playful conversation 
with the little ones in their charge. He had a plea- 
sant nick-name for them all ; such as " Blue-bird," 
or " Yellow T -bird," according to their dress. They 
w T ould run up to him as he approached home, calling 
out, " Here's your little Blue-bird !" 

His garden was another source of great satisfac- 
tion to him. It was not bigger than a very small 


bed-room, and only half of it received the sunshine. 
But he called the minnikin grass-plot his meadow, 
and talked very largely about mowing his hay. He 
covered the walls and fences with flowering vines, 
and suspended them between the pillars of his little 
piazza. Even in this employment he revealed the 
tendencies of his character. One day, when I was 
helping him train a woodbine, he said, ''Fasten it in 
that direction, Maria ; for I want it to go over into 
our neighbor's yard, that it may make their wall 
look pleasant." 

In the summer of 1848, when I was staying in the 
country, not far from New-York, I received the fol- 
lowing letter from him: "Dear Friend, the days 
have not yet come, in which I can say I have no 
pleasure in them. Notwithstanding the stubs against 
which I hit my toes, the briars and thorns that some- 
times annoy me, and the muddy sloughs I am some- 
times obliged to wade through, yet, after all, the 
days have not come in which I have no enjoyment. 
In the course of my journey, I find here and there a 
green spot, by which I can sit down and rest, and 
pleasant streams, where I sometimes drink, mostly 
in secret, and am refreshed. I often remember the 
saying of a beloved friend, long since translated from 
this scene of mutation to a state of eternal beati- 
tude : ' I wear my sackcloth on my loins ; I don't 
wish to afflict others by carrying a sorrowful coun- 


tenance.' A wise conclusion. I love to diffuse hap- 
piness over all with whom I come in contact. But 
all this is a kind of accident. I took up my pen to 
tell thee about our garden. I never saw it half so 
handsome as it is now. Morning Glories are on 
both sides of the yard, extending nearly to the 
second story windows ; and they exhibit their glories 
every morning, in beautiful style. There are Cy- 
press vines, twelve feet high, running up on the pil- 
lar before the kitchen window, and spreading out 
each way. They blossom most profusely. The 
wooden wall is entirely covered with Madeira vines, 
and the stone wall with Woodbine. The grass-plot 
is very thrifty, and our borders are beautified with a 
variety of flowers. How thou wouldst like to look 
at them !" 

I replied as follows: "My dear and honored 
friend : Your kind, cheerful epistle came into my 
room as pleasantly as would the vines and flowers 
you describe. I am very glad the spirit moved you 
to write; for, to use the words of the apostle, 'I 
thank my God for every remembrance of you.' I do 
not make many professions of friendship, because 
neither you nor I are much given to professions ; but 
there is no one in the world for whom I have a higher 
respect than yourself, and very few for whom I che- 
rish a more cordial affection. You say the time has 
not yet come when you have no pleasure. I think, 


my friend, that it will never come. To an ever- 
. n heart, like yours, so full of kindly sympathies, 
the little children will always prattle, the birds will 
always sing, and the flowers will always offer in- 
se. This reward of the honest and kindly heart 
is one of those, which 'the world can neither give 
nor take away.' 

u I should love to see your garden now. There i's 
a peculiar satisfaction in having a very little patch 
all blooming into beauty. I had such an one in my 
humble home in Boston, some years ago. It used to 
make me think of Mary Howitt's very pleasant poe- 
try : 

•• \ rs, in the poor man's garden grow 

Far more than herbs and flowers ; 
Kind thoughts, contentment, peace of mind, 

And joy for weary hours." 

I have one enjoyment this summer, which you can- 
not have in your city premises. The birds ! not only 
their sweet songs, but all their little cunning manoeu- 
vre's in courting, building their nests, and. rearing 
their young. I w T atched for hours a little Phoebe- 
bird, who brought out her brood to teach them to 
fly. They used to stop to jest themselves on the 
naked branch of a dead pear-tree. There they sat 
so quietly, all in a row 7 , in their sober russet suit of 
feathers, just as if they were Quakers at meeting. 
The birds are very tame here ; thanks to Friend Jo- 
seph's tender heart. The Bob-o-links pick seed from 


the dandelions, at my very feet. May you sleep 
like a child when his friends are with him, as the 
Orientals say. And so farewell." 

Interesting strangers occasionally called to see 
Friend Hopper, attracted by his reputation. Frederi- 
ka Bremer was peculiarly delighted by her inter- 
views with him, and made a fine sketch of him in 
her collection of American likenesses. William 
Page, the well-known artist, made for me an admi- 
rable drawing of him, when he was a little past sev- 
enty years old. Eight years after, Salathiel Ellis, 
of New-York, at the suggestion of some friends, 
executed an uncommonly fine medallion likeness. 
A reduced copy of this was made in bronze at 
the request of some members of the Prison Asso- 
ciation. The reverse side represents him raising a 
prisoner from the ground, and bears the appropriate 
inscription, "To seek and to save that which was 

Young people often sent him pretty little testimo- 
nials of the interest he had excited, in their minds. 
Intelligent Irish girls, with whom he had formed ac- 
quaintance in their native land, never during his life 
ceased to write to him, and occasionally sent some 
tasteful souvenir of their friendship. The fashiona- 
ble custom of New- Year's and Christmas offerings 
was not in his line. But though he always dined on 
humble fare at Christmas, as a testimony against the 


observance of holy days, he secretly sent turkeys to 
poor families, who viewed the subject in a different 
light ; and it was only by accidental circumstances 
that they at last discovered to whom they owed the 
annual gift. 

Members of the Society of Friends often came to 
see him ; and for many of them he cherished high 
respect, and a very warm friendship. But his cha- 
racter grew larger, and his views more liberal, after 
the bonds which bound him to a sect were cut asun- 
der. Friends occasionally said to him, "We miss 
thy services in the Society, Isaac. Hadst thou not 
better ask to be re-admitted ? The way is open for 
thee, whenever thou hast an inclination to return." 
He replied, " I thank thee. But in the present state 
of the Society, I don't think I could be of any ser- 
vice to them, or they to me." But he could never 
relinquish the hope that the primitive character of 
Quakerism would be restored, and that the Society 
would again hold up the standard of righteousness 
to the nations, as it had in days gone by. Nearly 
every man, who forms strong religious attachments 
in early life, cherishes similar anticipations for his 
sect, whose glory declines, in the natural order of 
things. But such hopes are never realized. The 
spirit has a resurrection, but not the form. "Soul 
never dies. Matter dies off it, and it lives else- 
where." Thus it is with truth. The noble princi- 


pies maintained by Quakers, through suffering and 
peril, have taken root in other sects, and been an in- 
calculable help to individual seekers after light, 
throughout the Christian world. Like winged seed 
scattered in far-off soils, they will produce a forest- 
growth in the future, long after the original stock is 
dead, and its dust dispersed to the winds. 

In Friend Hopper's last years, memory, as usual 
with the old, was busily employed in reproducing the 
the past ; and in his mind the pictures she presented 
were uncommonly vivid. In a letter to his daughter, 
Sarah Palmer, he writes : "I was deeply affected on 
being informed of the death of Joseph Whitall. We 
loved one another when we were children ; and I 
never lost my love for him. I think it will not be 
extravagant if I say that my soul was knit with his 
soul, as Jonathan's was to David's. I have a letter, 
which I received from him in 1795. I have not 
language to express my feelings. Oh, that separa- 
tion ! that cruel separation ! How it divided very 
friends ! " 

In a letter to his daughter Susan, we again find 
him looking fondly backward. He says : "I often, 
very often remember the example of thy dear mother, 
with feelings that no language can portray. She 
was neat and tasteful in her appearance. Her dress 
was elegant, but plain, as became her Christian pro- 
fession. She loved sincere Friends, faithfully main- 


tained all their testimonies, and was a diligent at- 
tender of meetings. She was kind and affectionate 
to all. In short, she was a bright example in her 
family, and to all about her, and finally laid down 
her head in peace. May her children imitate her 

Writing to his daughter Sarah in 1845, he thus 
returns to the same beloved theme: "I lately hap- 
pened to open the Memoirs of Sarah Harrison. It 
seemed to place me among my old friends, with 
whom I walked in sweet unity and Christian fellow- 
ship, in days that are gone forever. I there saw the 
names, and read the letters, of William Savery, 
Thomas Scattergood, and a host of others, who have 
long since gone to their everlasting rest. I hope, 
however unworthy, to join them at some day, not 
very distant." 

"Next day after to-morrow, it will be fifty years 
since I was married to thy dear mother. How fresh 
many of the scenes of that day are brought before 
me ! It almost seems as if they transpired yester- 
day. These reminiscences afford me a melancholy 
pleasure, and I love to indulge in them. No man 
has experienced more exquisite pleasure, or deeper 
sorrows than I have." 

Perhaps the reader will say that I have spoken 
little of his sorrows ; and it is true. But who does 
not know that all the sternest conflicts of life can 


never be recorded ! Every human soul must walk 
alone through the darkest and most dangerous paths 
of its spiritual pilgrimage ; absolutely alone with 
God ! Much, from which we suffer most acutely, 
could never be revealed to others ; still more could 
never be understood, if it were revealed ; and still 
more ought never to be repeated, if it could be un- 
derstood. Therefore, the frankest and fullest bio- 
graphy must necessarily be superficial. 

The old gentleman was not prone to talk of his 
troubles. They never made him irritable, but rather 
increased his tenderness and thoughtfulness toward 
others. His naturally violent temper was brought 
under almost complete subjection. During the nine 
years that I lived with him, I never saw him lose his 
balance but twice ; and then it was only for a 
moment, and under very provoking circumstances. 

The much-quoted line, "None knew him but to 
love him, none named him but to praise," was proba- 
bly never true of any man ; certainly not of any one 
with a strong character. Many were hostile to 
Friend Hopper, and some were bitter in their enmity. 
Of course, it could not be otherwise with a man who 
battled with oppression, selfishness, and bigotry, 
wherever he encountered them, and whose rebukes 
were too direct and explicit to be evaded. More- 
over, no person in this world is allowed to be pecu- 
liar and independent with impunity. There are 


always men who wish to compel such characters 
to submit, by the pressure of circumstances. This 
kind of spiritual thumb- screw was often, and in va- 
rious ways, tried upon Friend Hopper ; but though 
it sometimes occasioned temporary inconvenience, 
it never induced him to change his course. 

Though few old men enjoyed life so much as he 
did, he always thought and spoke of death with 
cheerful serenity. On the third of December, 1851, 
he wrote thus to his youngest daughter, Mary : 
"This day completes my eightieth year. 'My eye 
is not dim, nor my natural force abated.' My head 
is well covered with hair, which still retains its usual 
glossy dark color, with but few gray hairs sprinkled 
about, hardly noticed by a casual observer. My life 
has been prolonged beyond most, and has been truly 
'a chequered scene.' I often take a retrospect of it, 
and it fills me with awe. It is marvellous how many 
dangers and hair-breadth escapes I have experienced. 
If I may say it without presumption, I desire not to 
live until I am unable to take care of myself, and 
become a burden to those about me. If I had my 
life to live over again, the experience I have had 
might caution me to avoid many mistakes, and per- 
haps I might make a more useful citizen ; but I 
don't know that I should greatly improve it. Mercy 
and kindness have followed me thus far, and I have 
faith that they will continue with me to the end." 


But the bravest and strongest pilgrim, when he is 
travelling toward the sunset, cannot but perceive 
that the shadows are lengthening around him. He 
did not, like most old people, watch the gathering 
gloom ; but during the last two or three years 
of his life, he seemed to have an increasing feeling 
of spiritual loneliness. He had survived all his co- 
temporaries ; he had outlived the Society of Friends, 
as it was when it took possession of his youthful 
soul ; and though he sympathized with the present 
generation remarkably for so old a man, still he was 
among them, and not of them. He quieted this 
feeling by the best of all methods. He worked 
continually, and he worked for others. In this way, 
he brought upon himself his last illness. A shop 
had been built very far up in the city, for a dis- 
charged convict, and the Association had incurred 
considerable expense on his account. He was re- 
markably skilful at his trade, but after awhile he 
manifested slight symptoms of derangement. Friend 
Hopper became extremely anxious about him, and 
frequently travelled back and forth to examine into 
the state of his affairs. This was in the severe 
winter of 1852, and he was past eighty years old. 
He took heavy colds, which produced inflammation 
of the lungs, and the inflammation subsequently 
extended to his stomach. In February of that year, 
declining health made it necessary to resign his 


office in the Prison Association. His letter to that 
effect was answered by the following Resolutions, 
unanimously passed at a meeting of the Executive 
Committee : 

"This Association has received, with undissembled 
sorrow, the resignation of Isaac T. Hopper, as their 
agent for the relief of discharged convicts. 

"He was actively engaged in the organization of the 
Society, and has ever since been its most active mem- 

"His kindness of heart, and his active zeal in behalf 
of the fallen and erring, whom he has so often befriended, 
have given to this Society a lofty character for goodness, 
which, being a reflection of his own, will endure with the 
remembrance of him. 

"His forbearance and patience, combined with his 
great energy of mind, have given to its action an impetus 
and a direction, which, it is to be earnestly hoped, will 
continue long after it shall have ceased to enjoy his par- 
ticipation in its active business. 

" His gentleness and propriety of deportment toward 
us, his associates, have given him a hold upon our af- 
fections, which adds poignancy to our grief at parting 
with him. 

"And while we mourn his loss to us, our recollection 
of the cause of it awakens within us the belief that the 
good he has done will smooth his departure from among 
us, and gives strength to the cheering hope that the recol- 


lection of a life well spent may add even to the happiness 
that is in store for him hereafter." 

He sent the following reply, which I believe was 
the last letter he ever wrote : 

" Dear Friends : — I received through your committee, 
accompanied by Dr. Russ, your resolutions of the 13th of 
February, 1852, commendatory of my course while agent 
for Discharged Convicts. My bodily indisposition has 
prevented an earlier acknowledgment. 

The kind, friendly, and affectionate manner in which 
you have been pleased to express yourselves on this occa- 
sion, excited emotions which I found it difficult to repress. 
The approbation of those with whom I have long labored 
in a deeply interesting and arduous concern, I value next 
to the testimony of a good conscience. Multiplied years 
and debility of body admonish me to retire from active 
life as much as may be, but my interest in the work has 
not abated. Much has been dene, and much remains to 
be done. 

In taking a retrospect of my intercourse with you, I am 
rejoiced to see that the great principles of humanity and 
Christian benevolence have risen above and overspread 
sectarian prejudice, that bane of Christianity, and while 
each has been allowed to enjoy his own religious opinions 
without interference from his fellows, we have labored 
harmoniously together for the promotion of the great 
object of our Association. 

May He who clothes the lilies, feeds the ravens, and 


provides for the sparrows, and without whose Providen- 
tial regard, all our endeavors must be vain, bless your 
labors, and stimulate and encourage you to persevere, so 
that having, through His aid, fulfilled all your relative and 
social duties, you may in the end receive the welcome, 
"Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom 
prepared for you from the foundation of the world : for I 
was an hungered, and ye gave me meat ; I was thirsty, 
and ye gave me drink ; I was a stranger, and ye took me 
in ; naked, and ye clothed me ; I was sick, and ye visited 
me ; I was in prison, and ye came unto me." 

That this may be our happy experience, is the fervent 
desire of your sincere and affectionate friend, 

Isaac T. Hopper. 

New-York, 4th mo. 15, 1852." 

Early in the Spring, he was conveyed to the 
house of his daughter, Mrs. Gibbons, in the upper 
part of the city ; it being supposed that change of 
air and scene might prove beneficial. It was after- 
ward deemed imprudent to remove him. His illness 
was attended with a good deal of physical suffering ; 
but he was uniformly patient and cheerful. He 
often observed, "There is no cloud. There is 
nothing in my way. Nothing troubles me." His 
daughters left all other duties, and devoted them- 
selves exclusively to him. Never were the declining 
hours of an old man watched over with more devot- 
ed affection. Writing to his daughter Mary, he 


says: "I have the best nurses in New-York, thy 
mother and sisters. I have every comfort that in- 
dustry and ingenuity can supply." 

Among the Quakers who manifested kindness and 
sympathy, several belonged to the branch called 
Orthodox ; for a sincere respect and friendship had 
grown up between him and individuals of that 
Society, in New- York, after the dust of controversy 
had subsided. He was always glad to see them ; 
for his heart warmed toward the plain dress and the 
plain language. But I think nothing during his 
illness gave him more unalloyed satisfaction than a 
visit from William and Deborah Wharton, Friends 
from Philadelphia. He loved this worthy couple 
for their truly Christian character ; and they were, 
moreover, endeared to him by many tender and 
pleasant associations. They stood by him gene- 
rously during his severe pecuniary struggles ; they 
had been devoted to his beloved Sarah, whose long 
illness was cheered by their unremitting attentions , 
and she, for many years, had received from Hannah 
Fisher, Deborah's mother, the most uniform kind- 
ness. William's father, a wealthy merchant, had 
been to him an early and constant friend ; and his 
uncle, the excellent mayor of Philadelphia, had sus- 
tained him by his influence and hearty co-operation, 
in many a fugitive slave case, that occurred in years 
Tong past. It was, therefore, altogether pleasant to 


clasp hands with these tried and trusty friends, 
before life and all its reminiscences faded away. 

His physician, Dr. John C. Beales, was very as- 
siduous in his attentions, and his visits were always 
interesting to the invalid, who generally made them 
an occasion for pleasant and animated conversation ; 
often leading the doctor off the professional track, 
by some playful account of his symptoms, however 
painful they might be. He had been his medical ad- 
viser for many years, and as a mark of respect for 
his disinterested services to his fellow-men, he uni- 
formly declined to receive any compensation. 

Neighbors and acquaintances of recent date, like- 
wise manifested their respect for the invalid by all 
manner of attentions. Gentlemen sent choice wines, 
and ladies offered fruit and flowers. Market people, 
who knew him in the way of business, brought deli- 
cacies of various kinds for his acceptance. He was 
gratified by such tokens of regard, and manifested it 
in many pleasant little ways. One of his sons had 
presented him a silver goblet, with the word "Fa- 
ther" inscribed upon it ; and whenever he was about 
to take nourishment, he would say, "Give it to me 
in John's cup." When his little grand-daughter 
brought flowers from the garden, he was careful to 
have them placed by the bedside, where he could see 
them continually. After he was unable to rise to 
take his meals, he asked to have two cups and plates 


brought to him, if it were not too much trouble ; for 
he said it would seem pleasant, and like old times, to 
have Hannah's company. So his wife ate with him, 
as long as he was able to partake of food. A china 
bird, which a ransomed slave had given to his daugh- 
ter, when she was a little girl, was placed on the 
mantel-piece, because he liked to look at it. A visi- 
tor, to whom he made this remark one day, replied, 
"It must be very pleasant to you now to remember 
how many unfortunate beings you have helped." He 
looked up, and answered with frank simplicity, " Yes, 
it is pleasant." 

He made continual efforts to conceal that he was 
in pain. When they asked why he was so often 
singing to himself, he replied, "If I didn't sing, I 
should groan." Even as late as the day before he 
died, he indulged in some little " Cheery ble" plea- 
santries, evidently intended to enliven those who 
were nearly exhausted by their long attendance on 
him. At this period, his son-in-law, James S. Gib- 
bons, wrote to me thus : " Considering his long bodi- 
ly weakness, now ten weeks, he is in an extraordina- 
ry state of mental strength and clearness. Reminis- 
cences are continually falling from his lips, like 
leaves in autumn from an old forest tree ; not indeed 
green, but rich in the colors that are of the tree, and 
characteristic. Thou hast known him in the extra- 
ordinary vigor and freshness of his old age ; cheat- 


ing time even out of turning his hair gray. But 
thou shouldst see him now ; when, to use his own 
words, he feels that 'the messenger has come.' All 
his thoughts have tended to, and reached this point. 
The only question with him now is of a few more 
days. Though prostrate in body, his mind is like a 
sturdy old oak, that don't care which way the wind 
blows. As I sat by his bedside, last evening, I 
thought I never had seen so beautiful a close to a 
good man's life." 

He had no need to make a will ; for he died, as he 
had lived, without property. But he disposed of his 
little keepsakes with as much cheerfulness as if he 
had been making New-Year's presents. He seemed 
to remember everybody in the distribution. His 
Quaker library was left in the care of his children, 
with directions that it should be kept where mem- 
bers of the Society of Friends or others interested 
could have ready access to it. To his daughter Sa- 
rah he entrusted the paper written by her mother, at 
fourteen years of age ; still fastened by the pin she 
had placed in it, which her dear hand had invested 
with more value than a diamond, in his eyes. He 
earnestly recommended his wife to the affectionate 
care of his children ; reminding them that she had 
been a kind and faithful companion to him during 
many years. He also gave general directions con- 
cerning his funeral. "Don't take the trouble to 


make a shroud," said he. "One of my night-shirty 
will do as well. I should prefer to be buried in a 
white pine coffin ; but that might be painful to my 
family ; and I should not like to afflict them in any 
way. It may, therefore, be of dark wood ; but be sure 
to have it entirely plain, without varnish or inscrip- 
tion. Have it made by some poor neighbor, and pay 
Ifim the usual price of a handsome one ; for I merely 
wish to leave a testimony against vain show on such 
occasions." He appeared to be rather indifferent 
where he was buried ; but when he was informed 
that his son and daughter had purchased a lot at 
Greenwood Cemetery, it seemed pleasant to him to 
think of having them and their families gathered 
round him, and he consented to be laid there. 

I was summoned to his death-bed, and arrived two 
days before his departure. 1 found his mind perfect- 
ly bright and clear. He told over again some of his 
old reminiscences, and indulged in a few of his cus- 
tomary pleasantries. He spoke of rejoining his be- 
loved Sarah, and his ancient friends William Savery, 
Nicholas Wain, Thomas Scattergood, and others, 
with as much certainty and pleasure as if he had 
been anticipating a visit to Pennsylvania. Some- 
times, when he was much exhausted with physical 
pain, he would sigh forth, "Oh, for rest in the king- 
dom of heaven !" But nothing that approached 
nearer to complaint or impatience escaped his lips. 


On the last day, he repeated to me, what he had pre- 
viously said to others, that he sometimes seemed to 
hear voices singing, "We have come to take thee 
home." Once, when no. one else happened to be 
near him, he said to mc in a low, confidential tone, 
u Maria, is there anything peculiar in this room ?" I 
replied, "No. Why do you ask that question?" 
"Because," said he, "you all look so beautiful; and 
the covering on the bed has such glorious colors, as 
] never saw. But perhaps I had. better not have said, 
anything about it." The natural world was transfigur- 
ed to his dying senses ; perhaps by an influx of light 
from the spiritual ; and I suppose he thought I should 
understand it as a sign that the time of his departure 
drew nigh. It was a scene to remind one of Jeremy 
Taylor's eloquent words : " When a good man dies, 
one that hath lived, innocently, then the joys break 
forth through the clouds of sickness, and the con- 
science stands upright, and confesses the glories of 
God : and owns so much integrity, that it can hope 
for pardon, and obtain it too. Then the sorrows of 
sickness do but untie the soul from its chain, and let 
it go forth, first into liberty, and then into glory." 

A few hours before he breathed his last, he rallied 
from a state of drowsiness, and asked for a box con- 
taining his private papers. He wished to find one, 
which he thought ought to be destroyed, lest it should, 
do some injury. He put on his spectacles, and looked 


at the papers which were handed him ; but the old 
man's eyes were dimmed with death, and he could 
not see the writing. After two or three feeble and 
ineffectual attempts, he took off his spectacles, with 
a trembling hand, and gave them to his beloved 
daughter, Sarah, saying, "Take them, my child, and 
keep them. They were thy dear mother's. I can 
never use them more." The scene was inexpressi- 
bly affecting ; and we all wept to see this untiring 
friend of mankind compelled at last to acknowledge 
that he could work no longer. 

Of his sixteen children, ten were living ; and all 
but two of them were able to be with him in these 
last days. He addressed affectionate exhortations to 
them at various times ; and a few hours before he 
died, he called them, one by one, to his bedside, to 
receive his farewell benediction. At last, he whis- 
pered my name ; and as I knelt to kiss his hand, he 
said in broken accents, and at long intervals, "Ma- 
ria, tell them I loved them though I felt called 

to resist some who claimed to be rulers in Israel 

1 never meant ." His strength was nearly 

exhausted ; but after a pause, he pressed my hand, 
and added, "Tell them I love them aZZ." I had pre- 
viously asked and obtained permission to write his 
biography ; and from these broken sentences, I un- 
derstood that he wished me to convey in it a mes- 
sage to the Society of Friends; including the "Or- 


thodox" branch, with whom he had been brought into 
painful collision, in years gone by. 

After several hours of restlessness and suffering, 
he fell into a tranquil slumber, which lasted a long 
time. The serene expression of his countenance re- 
mained unchanged, and there was no motion of limb 
or muscle, when the spirit passed away. This w T as 
between eight and nine o'clock in the evening, on the 
seventh of May, 1852. After a long interval of si- 
lent weeping, his widow laid her head on the shoul- 
der of one of his sons, and said, " Forty-seven years 
ago this very day, my good father died ; and from 
that day to this, he has been the best friend I ever 

No public buildings were hung with crape, when 
news went forth that the Good Samaritan had gone. 
But prisoners, and poor creatures in dark and deso- 
late corners, wept when they heard the tidings. Ann 
W. with whose waywardness he had borne so pa- 
tiently, escaped from confinement, several miles dis- 
tant, and with sobs implored "to see that good old 
man once more.' , Michael Stanley sent the following 
letter to the Committee of the Prison Association : 
" When I read the account of the venerable Friend 
Hopper's death, I could not help weeping. It touch- 
ed a tender chord in my heart, when I came to the 
account of his being the prisoner's friend. My soul 

responded to that ; for I had realized it. About six 


years ago, I was one of those who got good advice 
from ' the old man.' I carried it out, and met with 
great success. I was fatherless, motherless, and 
friendless, with no home, nobody to take me by the 
hand. I felt, as the poet lias it, 

1 A pilgrim stranger here I roam, 

From place to place I'm driven ; 

My friends are gone, and I'm in gloom ; 

This earth is all a lonely tomb ; 

I have no home but heaven.' 

Go on in the work of humanity and love, till the 
Good Master shall say, 'It is enough. Come up 
higher.' " 

Nearly all the domestics in Friend Hopper's neigh- 
borhood attended the funeral solemnities. One of 
these said with tears, "I am an orphan; but while 
he lived, I always felt as if I had a father. He al- 
ways had something pleasant to say to me, but now 
everything seems gone." A very poor man, who 
had been an object of his charity, and whom he had 
employed in many little services, could not rest till 
he had earned enough to buy a small Arbor-vitse, 
(Tree of Life,) to plant upon his grave. 

The Executive Committee of the Prison Associa- 
tion met, and passed the following Resolutions : 

"Resolved : — That the combination of virtues which 
distinguished and adorned the character of our lamented 
friend, eminently qualified him for the accomplishment of 


those benevolent and philanthropic objects to which he 
unremittingly devoted a life far more extended than ordi- 
narily falls to man's inheritance. 

"That in our intimate associations with him for many 
years, he has uniformly displayed a character remarkable 
for its disinterestedness, energy, fearlessness, and Chris- 
tian principle, in every good word and work. 

" That we tender to the family and friends of the 
deceased our sincere condolence and sympathy in their 
sore bereavement, but whilst sensible that words, how- 
ever truly uttered, cannot compensate for the loss of such 
a husband, father, and guide, we do find both for our- 
selves and for them, consolation in the belief that his 
peaceful end was but the prelude to the bliss of Heaven. 

"That in the death of Isaac T. Hopper, the community 
is called to part with a citizen of transcendent worth and 
excellence ; the prisoner, with an unwearied and well- 
tried friend ; the poor and the homeless, with a father 
and a protector ; the church of Christ, with a brother 
whose works ever bore unfailing testimony to his faith ; 
and the world at large, with a philanthropist of the purest 
and most uncompromising integrity, whose good deeds 
were circumscribed by no sect, party, condition or clime." 

The American Anti-Slavery Society received the 
tidings while they were in session at Rochester. 
Mr. Garrison, after a brief but eloquent tribute to 
the memory of the deceased, offered the following 
Resolution : 


"Resolved: — That it is with emotions too profound for 
utterance, that this Society receives the intelligence of 
the decease of the venerable Isaac T. Hopper, on Tues- 
day evening last, in the city of New-York; the friend 
of the friendless — boundless in his compassion — exhaust- 
less in his benevolence — untiring in his labors — the most 
intrepid of philanthropists, who never feared the face of 
man, nor omitted to bear a faithful testimony against 
injustice and oppression — the early, steadfast, heroic 
advocate and protector of the hunted fugitive slave, to 
whose sleepless vigilance and timely aid multitudes have 
been indebted for their deliverance from the Southern 
House of Bondage ; — in whom were equally blended the 
gentleness of the lamb with the strength of the lion — the 
wisdom of the serpent with the harmlessness of the dove ; 
and who, when the ear heard him, then it blessed him, 
when the eye saw him, it gave witness to him, because 
he delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and 
him that had none to help him. The blessing of him 
that was ready to perish came upon him, and he caused 
the widow's heart to sing for joy. He put on righteous- 
ness, and it clothed him ; his judgment was as a robe and 
a diadem. He was eyes to the blind, and feet was he to 
the lame. The cause which he knew not he searched out, 
and he broke the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the 
spoil out of its teeth. 

He moved that a copy of this resolution be forwarded 
in an official form to the estimable partner of his life, and 
the children of his love, accompanied by an assurance 


of our deepest sympathy, in view of their great bereave- 

Several spoke in support of the Resolution, which 

- unanimously and cordially adopted. 

The Committee of the Prison Association desired 
to have public funeral solemnities, and the family 
complied with their wishes. Churches of various 
denominations were immediately offered for the pur- 
pose, including the meeting-houses of both branches 
of the Society of Friends. The Tabernacle was ac- 
cepted. Judge Edmonds, who had been an efficient 
co-laborer, and for whom Friend Hopper had a strong 
personal affection, offered a feeling tribute to the vir- 
tues and abilities of his departed friend. He was 
followed by Lucretia Mott, a widely known and 
highly respected minister among Friends. In her 
appropriate and interesting communication, she dwelt 
principally upon his efforts in behalf of the colored 
people ; for whose sake she also had encountered 

The Society of Friends in Hester-street, to which 
he had formerly belonged, offered the use of their 
burying-ground. It was kindly meant ; but his chil- 
dren deeply felt the injustice of their father's expul- 
sion from that Society, for no other offence than fol- 
lowing the dictates of his own conscience. As his 
soul had been too much alive for them, when it was 


in the body, their unity with the lifeless form was 
felt to avail but little. 

The body was conveyed to Greenwood Cemetery, 
followed only by the family, and a very few intimate 
friends. Thomas McClintock, a minister in the So- 
ciety of Friends, addressed some words of consola- 
tion to the bereaved family, as they stood around the 
open grave. Lucretia Mott affectionately commend- 
ed the widow to the care of the children. In the 
course of her remarks, she said, " I have no unity 
with these costly monuments around me, by which 
the pride and vanity of man strive to extend them- 
selves beyond the grave. But I like the idea of bu- 
rial grounds where people of all creeds repose to- 
gether. It is pleasant to leave the body of our friend 
here, amid the verdant beauty of nature, and the 
sweet singing of birds. As he was a fruitful bough, 
that overhung the wall, it is fitting that he should 
not be buried within the walls of any sectarian en- 

Three poor little motherless German boys stood 
hand in hand beside the grave. Before the earth 
was thrown in, the eldest stepped forward and drop- 
ped a small bouquet on the coffin of his benefactor. 
He had gathered a few early spring flowers from the 
little garden plot, which his kind old friend used to 
cultivate with so much care, and with childish love 
and reverence he dropped them in his grave. 


Soon after the funeral Lucretia Mott called a 
meeting of the colored people in Philadelphia, and 
delivered an address upon the life and services of 
their friend and protector. There was a very large 
audience ; and among them were several old people, 
who well remembered him during his residence in that 
city. At the Yearly Meeting also she paid a tribute 
to his virtues ; it being the custom of Friends, on 
such occasions, to make tender allusion to the wor- 
thies who have passed from among them in the 
course of the year. 

The family received many letters of sympathy and 
condolence, from which I will make a few brief ex- 
tracts. Mrs. Marianne C. D. Silsbee, of Salem, 
Massachusetts, thus speaks of him, in a letter to his 
son John: "I have thought much of you all, since 
your great loss. How you must miss his grand, con- 
stant example of cheerful trust, untiring energy, and 
love to all ! What a joy to have had such a father ! 
To be the son of such a man is ground for honest 
pride. The pleasure of having known him, the 
honor of having been in social relations with him, will 
always give a charm to my life. I cherish among my 
most precious recollections the pleasant words he 
has so often spoken to me. I can see him while I 
write, as vividly as though he were with me now ; 
and never can his benign and beautiful countenance 
lose its brightness in my memory. Dear old friend ! 


We cannot emulate your ceaseless good works ; but 
we can follow, and we can love and remember." 

Mrs. Mary E. Stearns, of Medford, Massachusetts, 
wrote as follows to Rosalie Hopper : " The Telegraph 
has announced that the precious life you were all so 
anxiously watching has 'passed on,' and that myste- 
rious change we call death has taken it from your 
midst forever. It is such a beautiful day ! The air is 
so soft, the grass so green, and the birds singing so 
joyously ! The day and the event have become so 
interwoven with each other, that I cannot separate 
them. I think of his placid face, sleeping its last 
still sleep ; and through the open window, I see the 
springing grass and the bursting buds. My ears are 
filled with bird-music, and all other sounds are hush- 
ed in this Sabbath stillness. All I see and hear 
seems to be hallowed by his departed spirit. Ah, it 
is good to think of his death in the Spring time ! It 
is good that his soul, so fresh, so young and hopeful, 
should burst into a higher and more glorious life, as 
if in sympathy with the ever beautiful, ever wonder- 
ful resurrection of nature. Dear, blessed old man ! 
I shall never see his face again ; but his memory will 
be as green as this springing grass, and we shall al- 
ways think and talk of our little experience with 
him, as one of the golden things that can never pass 

Dr. Russ, his beloved co-laborer in the Prison As- 


sociation, wrote thus in a note to Mrs. Gibbons : "I 
have found it for my comfort to change the furniture 
of the office, that it might not appear so lonely with- 
out your dear, venerable father. I felt for him the 
warmest and most enduring friendship. I esteemed 
him for his thousand virtues, and delighted in his so- 
cial intercourse. I am sure no one out of his own 
immediate family, felt his loss more keenly than my- 

James H. Titus, of New-York, thus expresses 
himself in a letter to James S. Gibbons: "I have 
r considered it one of the happiest and most for- 
tunate* events of my life, to have had the privilege of 
an acquaintance with Friend Hopper. I shall always 
recur to his memory with pleasure, and I trust with 
that moral advantage, which the recollection of his 
Christian virtues is so eminently calculated to pro- 
duce. How insignificant the reputation of riches, 
how unsatisfactory the renown of victory in w r ar, 
how transient political fame, when compared with 
the history of a long life spent in services rendered 
to the afflicted and the unfortunate !" 

Ellis Gray Loring, of Boston, in a letter to John 

Hopper, says : "We heard of your father's death while 

\\ e were in Rome. I could not restrain a few tears , 

and yet God knows there is no room for tears about 

the life or death of such a man. In both, he was a 

blessing and encouragement to all of us. He really 


lived out all the life that was given him ; filling it up 
to such an age with the beauty of goodness, and 
consecrating to the divinest purposes that wonderful 
energy of intellect and character. In a society full 
of selfishness and pretension, it is a great thing to 
have practical proof that a life and character like 
his are possible." 

Edmund L. Benzon, of Boston, writing to the 
same, says; "You will imagine, better than I can 
write, with what deep sympathy I learned the death 
of your good father, whom I have always esteemed 
one of the best of men. I cannot say I am sorry for 
his death. My only regret is that more of us cannot 
live and die as he has done. I feel with regacd to 
all good men departed, whom I have personally 
known, that there is now another witness in the spi- 
rit, before whose searching eyes my inmost soul lies 
open. I shall never forget him ; not even if such a 
green old age as his should be my own portion. If 
in the future life I can only be as near him as I was 
on this earth, I shall deem myself blest." 

From the numerous notices in papers of all par- 
ties and sects, I will merely quote the following : 
The New-York Observer thus announces his death : 

"The venerable Isaac T. Hopper, whose placid bene- 
volent face has so long irradiated almost every public 
meeting for doing good, and whose name, influence, and 
labors have been devoted with an apostolic simplicity 


and constancy to humanity, died on Friday last, at an 
advanced age. He was a Quaker of that early sort 
illustrated by such philanthropists as Anthony Benezet, 
Thomas Clarkson, Mrs. Fry, and the like. 

He was a most self-denying, patient, loving friend of 
the poor, and the suffering of every kind ; and his life 
an unbroken history of beneficence. Thousands of 
hearts will feel a touch of grief at the news of his death ; 
for few men have so large a wealth in the blessings of the 
poor, and the grateful remembrance of kindness and 
benevolence, as he." 

The New- York Sunday Times contained the fol- 
lowing : 

"Most of our readers will call to mind in connection 
with the name of Isaac T. Hopper, the compact, well-knit 
figure of a Quaker gentleman, apparently about sixty 
years of age, dressed in drab or brown clothes of the 
plainest cut, and bearing on his handsome, manly face the 
impress of that benevolence with which his whole heart 
was filled. 

He was twenty years older than he seemed. The 
fountain of benevolence within, freshened his old age 
with its continuous flow. The step of the octogenarian, 
was elastic as that of a boy, his form erect as the moun- 
tain pine. 

His whole physique was a splendid sample of nature's 
handiwork. We see him now with our "mind's eye" — 
but with the eye of flesh we shall see him no more. 


Void of intentional offence to God or man, his spirit has 
joined its happy kindred in a world where there is neither 
sorrow nor perplexity." 

I sent the following communication to the New- 
York Tribune : 

"In this world of shadows, few things strengthen the 
soul like seeing the calm and cheerful exit of a truly good 
man ; and this has been my privilege by the bedside of 
Isaac T. Hopper. 

He was a man of remarkable endowments, both of head 
and heart. His clear discrimination, his unconquerable 
will, his total unconsciousness of fear, his extraordinary 
tact in circumventing plans he wished to frustrate, would 
have made him illustrious as the general of an army ; and 
these qualities might have become faults, if they had not 
been balanced by an unusual degree of conscientiousness 
and benevolence. He battled courageously, not from 
ambition, but from an inborn love of truth. He circum- 
vented as adroitly as the most practised politician ; but 
it was always to defeat the plans of those who oppressed 
God's poor ; never to advance his own self-interest. 

Few men have been more strongly attached to any re- 
ligious society than he was to the Society of Friends, 
which he joined in the days of its purity, impelled by his 
own religious convictions. But when the time came that 
he must either be faithless to duty in the cause of his 
enslaved brethren, or part company with the Society to 
which he was bound by the strong and sacred ties of early 

life of isaac t. iioprER. 493 

religious feeling, this sacrifice he also calmly laid on the 
altar of humanity. 

During nine years that I lived in his household, my 
respect and affection for him continually increased. 
Never have I seen a man who so completely fulfilled 
the Scripture injunction, to forgive an erring brother "not 
only seven times, but seventy times seven." I have 
witnessed relapse after relapse into vice, under circum- 
stances which seemed like the most heartless ingratitude 
to him ; but he joyfully hailed the first symptom of re- 
pentance, and was always ready to grant a new proba- 

Farewell, thou brave and kind old Friend ! The 
prayers of ransomed ones ascended to Heaven for thee, 
and a glorious company have welcomed thee to the Eter- 
nal City." 

# * 

On a plain block of granite at Greenwood Ceme- 
tery, is inscribed : 


BORN, DECEMBER 3d, 1771, 


" Thou henceforth shalt have a good man's calm, 
A great man's happiness ; thy zeal shall find 
Repose at length, firm Friend of human kind." 

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